We had the good fortune of connecting with Brandy Nagel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brandy, how do you think about risk?
I have taken many small risks – or what felt like small risks to me – and very few big risks. Once I know what the risks are, and I make my decision, and then I don’t worry about the risk. I minimize risk by taking small steps at first, and educate myself about the possible outcomes. Worry is not productive after the decision is made.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I was the first in my family to go to college, so I didn’t have a clear idea of what I was supposed to do after graduation. I moved to a new city on a whim and started a series of jobs that were not a great fit, but the pay and benefits were adequate. After a while I got bored but I didn’t know what to do next. My boyfriend (soon to be my husband) suggested I meet with a career counselor. It was the best money I ever spent. I walked out of her office with a plan to get a MBA. More importantly, she explained to me why a MBA would move me down my path. Once I had that clarity I went back to school part time while working full time. I can still hear her words: You move ahead in your career because of education or experience. If you don’t have one you’ve got to get the other.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The next time my best friend comes to visit me in Atlanta, we will definitely visit Clarkston. Clarkston is a tiny undiscovered jewel – just about a square mile – near Decatur. Because of the diverse refugee population, the restaurants and shops are amazing. Some of the restaurants serve traditional food family style. The specialty shops cater to international locals with both traditional and modern goods. Visiting Clarkston is a way of seeing the world and supporting a small community with a big heart.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My trusted friend and former colleague, Ernesto Escobar, encouraged me to try teaching. I was not certain that I would be good at. I had compared myself to people who were world-class teachers and found myself uncertain about my own abilities. But Ernesto never lies. So when he told me I could do it, I knew I should believe him. This has opened up an additional pathway for me in my career, and has lit a new fire inside of me.