Lifelong Lerner: Charis Brooks

A desire to give back to their community and a dedication to fostering lifelong learning are common traits of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics alumni.

Charis Brooks graduated from Lerner College in 2014 with a bachelor of science degree in hospitality business management. Brooks now resides in Atlanta, Ga. and works as a partner/channel marketing manager for Microsoft FT.

As part of the Outstanding Lifelong Lerner series, Brooks shared her professional experiences and insights on improving the world of business for future generations of Blue Hens.

Lerner: Why did you decide to pursue your program at the Lerner College?

Brooks: I decided to pursue my program at Lerner College as I wanted to align myself with excellence. I was excited about the hands-on learning experiences in Vita Nova Restaurant and the Courtyard Marriott at UD. In addition, over half of the students in my program studied abroad and I wanted to gain international experiences. Fortunately, I was able to study in Switzerland, Germany and Italy where I created lifelong memories.

Lerner: What did you learn through this opportunity that you wouldn’t have learned anywhere else?

Brooks: I discovered that opportunities are boundless, and the trajectory of my life could surpass even my wildest imagination. I firmly believe that the greatness of one’s life path is intricately linked to the awareness of its possibilities. UD played a pivotal role in expanding my horizons.

Lerner: Please share an example of a course or concept that you were able to apply directly to your life and/or career.

Brooks: Since graduation, I have practically applied the principles of servant leadership. By prioritizing the needs of both my team and guests, I cultivated a service-driven approach. This hands-on experience not only enriched my understanding of servant leadership but also contributed significantly to my career growth.

Lerner: Describe an important connection you have made through your program (personal, professional, peers, mentors, professors, etc.).

Brooks: I connected with Ashley Chance, my college roommate and an administration professional at HRIM. Ashley has remained one of my closest friends, providing invaluable advice and unwavering support throughout my career journey. I am deeply grateful to UD for placing us together; her presence has been instrumental every step of the way.

Lerner: If you were to describe your classmates in one word, what would that be and why?

Brooks: Inspiring. I’ve never been surrounded by so many individuals with such tangible passion and life experiences. They shared a profound desire to embrace life as deeply as I did, if not more, and it was truly refreshing.

Lerner: Fill in this sentence: “My program helped me become…”

Brooks: Ambitious

Lerner: What piece(s) of advice would you give to current UD students?

Brooks: No matter your aspirations, pursue them with courage, even if it means facing your fears. I would encourage them to break free from the grip of self-doubt and seize opportunities instead of letting the fear of rejection hold them back.

Lerner: What are your professional plans or next steps for the future?

Brooks: As a lifelong learner, I plan to continue to upskill in marketing and cloud computing.

Lerner: What piece(s) of advice do you have for fellow businesspeople?

Brooks: Mastering the art of simplifying complexity and storytelling will make you invaluable.

Lerner: What does it mean to you to be a Lifelong Lerner?

Brooks: Embracing continuous learning is a part of my identity. I am naturally curious, and if I explore something that doesn’t resonate, it’s not a setback but a valuable win.

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