Ohio State Alumnus’ Unexpected Path Leads to Career Passion
Growing up near Hocking Hills, Parker Brown found himself pondering the familiar decision most first-year students make: staying close to home or moving away to attend school. Even with an acceptance letter in hand to another state institution with a direct admissions into their civil engineering program, Parker Brown still wanted to become a Buckeye. Brown was positive he was going to The Ohio State University, but he didn’t know which campus. After coming to Ohio State Newark before Columbus, he would learn it was the key to his success.
“I wasn’t ready for college. I wasn’t mature enough. If I would have went to Columbus, been thrown into those 700 people classes and not known my professors, it would have destroyed me. It would have taken my life on another path. It was good to come to Newark and ease my way into college,” said Brown.
Brown began his academic career at Ohio State Newark in the fall of 2007. He spent one year at Newark before transitioning to Columbus. After taking his prerequisites for the engineering major, he realized the major was not for him. It was during his junior year he found his passion for the construction industry. Brown graduated in 2012 with a degree in construction system management, which led to an internship with AEP and one of the largest contractors in the country.
After completing his co-op in Kansas, Brown decided he was a home-body and was ready to return to Ohio. Through his former mentor, he found a job working in the association world, which leap frogged him into new situations. Brown has sat on the board for the construction system management major with the industry advisory council. He now represents the construction industry through the Association of Contractors of Ohio and works with the central Ohio chapter. In his position, Brown does workforce development and promoting the trade and construction in general.
“It’s great to meet people who are passionate about the industry,” said Brown on his rewarding career. “You get to meet many great people, and there is so much diversity in the industry. I enjoy fighting stigmas of construction with parents and educators.”
Brown has noticed some of his classmates didn’t further their career after the first year. He gives some credit to Ohio State for the opportunities he has been offered. Not only did Brown find many chances to further his career, but he also found lasting friendships that began on Ohio State Newark’s campus.
“I met a lot of people my first year that I am still friends with today. We shared a common goal of all wanting to get to Columbus,” said Brown on his experience at Ohio State Newark. “You experience the same quality of professors as Columbus. You can get your general education requirements accomplished early, and you can focus on your major. Coming to Ohio State Newark doesn’t shut the door, but opens the door to more opportunities.”
The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that is inclusive of diversity, challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.