CBE Graduate to Change the World
Joshua Brands Wants to Change the World. He’s on the right path.
The University of Idaho senior will graduate this December from the College of Business and Economics (CBE), with double majors in accounting and marketing, with an entrepreneurship emphasis.
It’s a setup for success that is strengthened by Brands’ ambition, leadership experience and work ethic.
Brands transferred to U of I from North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene in 2014, drawn to the value of education and the beautiful, friendly campus. He also heard about the great business program and small faculty-to-student ratio.
Brands grew up in the Coeur d’ Alene area with a large family, including a twin brother, David, who will graduate from U of I with a civil engineering degree in the spring. His younger sister graduated in spring 2016 with a biology degree. He also has two younger brothers still at home.
While attending U of I, Brands has had several opportunities to showcase his persistent work ethic and strong leadership skills. In the spring of 2015, he was hired to work with CBE’s Executive Education program as a summer assistant. That experience expanded into a part-time position, which he held until this fall.
“Joshua’s can-do attitude, commitment to exceptional customer service, and passion for learning quickly established him as a key member of our team,” said Yvonne Sertich, director of Executive Education.
Brands receives high praise from faculty, and he has also become a leader among his fellow students in the Idaho Entrepreneurs program, as well as had involvement with CBE’s advisory board and the Utility Executive Course. Brands got involved with the Idaho Entrepreneurs program because he was looking for more challenging opportunities and rich learning experiences.
Through the program and CBE’s Idaho Pitch competition, Brands lead a team to develop Grid Defender — a patented utility pole protection system that responds to severe weather events by cutting power and safely lowering the poles crossarm and lines to the ground, protecting people and the electrical grid. His team won $300 toward their project in the spring 2016 Idaho Pitch contest, and $1,500 in the fall contest.
“Joshua is a great student, a promising entrepreneur, and a capable Vandal who will be a bright star in the business world and reflect well on the University of Idaho,” said George Tanner, director of Idaho Entrepreneurs, which runs the business contests.
His work on the prize-winning product idea could be one of the things that leads him to change the world, though for now the graduating senior is keeping his options open.
“With my education and continued pursuits, I am establishing a strong foundation from which I can launch into my career and future aspirations,” Brands said.
Article by Amber Crowley, College of Business and Economics