As a first-generation student, Bryant Burciaga has always had a go-getter, entrepreneurial mindset. From an early age, Bryant’s parents instilled in him the importance of earning a college degree and that was his motivation from the start.
He was offered a scholarship from Colorado State University in Fort Collins where he initially started his college career. However, after a semester, he didn’t feel the sense of belonging he was hoping for. He was searching for a college where he felt connected to the community and the people around him. That’s when he transferred to the CU Denver Business School and he immediately found his place. “I felt really at home just because it’s so diverse. There were more people that looked like me and were in similar situations where they were also first-generation students,” mentioned Bryant.
Bryant earned his degree in business administration with a triple emphasis in management, marketing, and finance. He’s always had the dream to own a business and be able to manage people efficiently. He felt this triple emphasis would help him to do so and give him a versatile background.
Throughout his time at the Business School, Bryant was involved in several clubs. He was a part of the Business Student Ambassador Committee (BSAC) for three years, where he eventually worked his way up to becoming president. He was also in the marketing club, the Latino Professional Network, and the commodities trading challenge. He speaks on the importance of getting involved as much as you can.
“I was always working on building up my professional network and making connections,” said Bryant.
“I was always working on building up my professional network and making connections.” – Bryant Burciaga
Bryant expressed that students need to go after what they want and try to fail. He advises students to try a bunch of different clubs to see what they like and what they don’t. “Give them a chance and don’t be afraid to come out of your shell,” he explained.
Today, Bryant also hosts a podcast called The Millennial Entrepreneur, where he interviews world-class CEOs, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and creatives. His goal in this is to help the millennial entrepreneur audience elevate their personal ventures to the next level.
Being the first in his family to go to college, Bryant didn’t know what he wanted to major in. All he knew was he enjoyed building things from the ground up. When he finally got to college, he realized he could build an enterprise from the ground up and that fascinated him.
Bryant succeeded in starting his own company while still attending classes. He taught himself how to code in order to create websites for small businesses and non-profits. He said, “It was nice going into business administration because as I was learning things in class, I was able to apply them to the business I started.”
“It was nice going into business administration because as I was learning things in class, I was able to apply them to the business I started.” – Bryant Burciaga
This entrepreneurial mindset and hard work proved to pay off. He graduated from the Business School with no debt and a plethora of experience. Learning how to code and how to start a company is what helped Bryant land the job he has today. He’s currently a technology analyst for Janus Henderson, an asset management company.
A fulfilling career
Not only is Bryant a technology analyst, but he’s also a project management leader. He’s in charge of making sure his team knows exactly what to do every single day. He explained, “In the world of software development, you have to be agile. You have to be very quick.” He oversees his team’s projects and ensures that everything is running efficiently.
“Since I work in the financial industry, it’s really nice having gone to school for finance because I do understand a lot of the terms they’re talking about and I can translate that into something developers can understand,” exclaimed Bryant.
Exciting things are ahead for Bryant as he plans to move to the company’s headquarters in London. While he’s there, he will be helping the branch move to a new global platform. It’s a technology they’re already using in the U.S., but now his job is to help the headquarters in London transition to the new system. He can’t wait to learn more about the industry and to travel the depths of Europe.
“Since I work in the financial industry, it’s really nice having gone to school for finance because I do understand a lot of the terms they’re talking about and I can translate that into something developers can understand.” – Bryant Burciaga
Bryant emphasizes the importance of giving back, even after you graduate. He said that this can be done in many ways, such as giving back to the community as a volunteer for Alternative Winter Break, Volunteer Days, or supporting causes like the food pantry and creating a space free from sexual harassment. “To me, building up the CU Denver community is about giving back,” he said, “The school and the experience we all get out of it is enriched when more people give back.”
“It all benefits us as a whole and only adds value to what it means to have a CU Denver degree.” – Bryant Burciaga
Other ways Bryant suggests giving back is to reach back out to the professors that had an impact on you and saying thank you. Or, to fellow alumni, take the time to help out current students however you can. He said, “It all benefits us as a whole and only adds value to what it means to have a CU Denver degree. That’s a big reason I love the CU Denver community and part of what Learning with Purpose means to me.”
Guidance for new students
Bryant strongly encourages students starting college to study something they’re passionate about. By getting involved as much as he did, he was able to make friends and form communities around him. Bryant advised, “First day of class, say hello to the person next to you. That was a big step for me because I’m kind of an introvert. However, saying hello to a random stranger can really change the way your semester goes.”
“College is the time where you figure out who you are and what you stand for. I definitely feel like I was able to accomplish that from my time here.” – Bryant Burciaga
His time at the Business School helped him become a more polished version of himself. “College is the time where you figure out who you are and what you stand for. I definitely feel like I was able to accomplish that from my time here,” said Bryant.
He also advises students to branch out from the little bubbles we put ourselves in. He suggested to make friends from different cultures, languages, and backgrounds and students’ networks will grow in way they would’ve never imagined. He noted, “Never before coming here would I have imagined having friends from Liberia, from Ethiopia, or from India. It expanded my whole world view. I think it’s a good thing to be global citizen.”
Most importantly, Bryant emphasized students to be proud of where they come from. He said, “It’s good to change and improve yourself. Being proud in who you are will carry into your career and will open you up to opportunities you never thought possible.”