Our student spotlight is on Jerome Brown, who begins his sophomore year at UW-Waukesha this month. The suggestion to feature Jerome came from Connie Humann, UW-Waukesha Student Services Advisor. According to Connie, “Jerome, on his own, reached out to a UW-Waukesha alum, Matt Roling, (a UW-Madison Business alum) regarding his pathway into business. Matt and Jerome connected so much so that Matthew helped Jerome gain a three-month internship with Quicken Loans in Detroit for the summer.” We thought Connie’s suggestion was a good one and as she states so well, “this is a great story about connection, the UW-Waukesha community (past and present), as well as strong determination from a first-year student.”
Name: Jerome Brown
Hometown: Wauwatosa, WI
Career Goal: I would like to start a company or lead a company that has a passion for growth and innovation as well as a mission to help others throughout the world.
Transfer Plans: The University of Wisconsin Madison - Business School
High School: Pius XI Catholic High School, 2016 Graduate
Why did you choose UW-Waukesha? I chose UW-Waukesha because it seemed to be the place where I could find out what I wanted to do with my career. It has enabled me to take classes in any field that I wanted - which then let me know what I was most interested in and gave me more knowledge of the world around me.
Who is your favorite professor or staff member? All the professors and staff members at UW-Waukesha are very supportive and helpful, but my favorite is Ada Duffey, my accounting instructor.
Outside of being a college student, what takes up your free time? Outside of taking a full course load, I most importantly give time to the community volunteering as a big brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I also serve the homeless through the St Benedict the Moor meal program. I am also a USO community volunteer with programs throughout the state. When I’m not giving time back to the community I work part-time at J.Crew as a stylist.
Advice for incoming UW-Waukesha students? I would advise them to have an idea of what they would like to do after college as well as where they would like to take their education. Most importantly - have an open mind and take courses that both interest them and take them outside of their comfort zone.
INTERNSHIP & CONNECTION WITH MATT ROLING: Jerome first learned about Matt on the UW-Waukesha outstanding Alumni page. After a quick search on LinkedIn, he was able to add him as a connection and send him a message. Jerome told him about himself and that Matt had taken an educational path similar to the one he would like to take. From there, as Jerome states, "Matt was always there when I was seeking advice, guidance or if I just needed someone to talk with."
Matthew X. Roling, CEO of BoostUp, Detroit and Jerome’s mentor comments: Jerome is living proof that we don’t get what we don’t ask for. After hearing about my distinguished alumni award from UW-Waukesha (then) 17 year old Jerome reached out to me cold on LinkedIn. He asked me for career and college planning advice. Over the next two years, we periodically checked-in with one another and developed a relationship – and the next thing I know, he is here working in Detroit (as a freshman no less) as an intern at America’s largest online mortgage lender. The icing on the cake is that we got to spend some time together this summer at my new company – BoostUp – a start-up that helps people save for a down payment on a home or a car.”
What type of work did you do during your internship? At Quicken Loans, I work on the client relations and social media team. This team works with all the other teams in the company to ensure that clients are being treated with care as they apply for a loan as well as while their loans are being serviced. This team also worked on finding resolutions to issues that arrive from social media. During my time at BoostUp I led the client relations team. We handled any issue that would arise from any client, at any time. Some key skills of mine that we developed during these experiences were leadership, persistence, effective listening, and effective positivity.
What was the most enjoyable or surprising thing about the internship? The empowerment I was given from the first day was surprising. Whether it was in meetings or if it was time to make a crucial decision, I was asked what I thought or how I felt about things. This gave me the ability to be informed of the team’s mission and allowed me to raise my level of awareness of the whole operation.
Did the internship experience change your mind about your career path? The experience did not change my mind, rather it gave me an idea regarding the impact I can make in a company that has the right intentions. The culture of Quicken Loans and the family of companies is one that will be hard to beat for any future employer of mine.
The University of Wisconsin -Waukesha offers freshman and sophomore level classes in over 250 majors, as well as bachelor degree options. A campus of the University of Wisconsin System, it provides access close to home, small class sizes, personalized attention from highly qualified faculty and credits that transfer. The campus is located at 1500 N. University Drive in Waukesha.
Photo: Jerome Brown (left) received a summer internship through a connection he made with Matt Roling, UW-Waukesha distinguished alum.