Brandon Tucker came to Normandale to get into the Law Enforcement program, but soon discovered a new career path. Initially, he liked the law enforcement classes, but a work-study job with Normandale's student programs opened the door to a new passion.
Tucker started out in his work-study job by producing posters for upcoming student events. After a while on the job, Normandale Student Life Coordinator Wanda Kanwischer (currently Director of Center for Experiential Education) pulled him aside and asked him if he wanted to work more with student groups as part of the Normandale Program Board (then called Normandale Entertainment Arts Today). Tucker was excited with his new duties and immersed himself in student activities at Normandale.
"The Normandale campus environment was always welcoming," said Tucker. "I spent a lot of time hanging out in the Student Center. I would always take 8 a.m. classes, because I was usually working and doing events for most of the afternoon. I was heavily involved on campus, and got to meet some great people throughout my time there. Normandale also had some of the best teachers out there."
After graduating from Normandale in 1999, Tucker enrolled at Hamline University. He landed a job with their student activities department, through his Normandale connections. Tucker gained connections at Hamline that allowed him to get a job as interim assistant director of Student Activities at St. John’s University (Minnesota) after he graduated.
Tucker left St. John's in 2002 to work as a regional booking agent for bands on college campuses. In 2009, Tucker went to work for Courage Center, which provides rehabilitation, health, fitness, and other services to people with disabilities or complex health conditions.
At the Courage Center, Tucker set up events, created sponsorship opportunities, and developed marketing campaigns for Courage Center. He liked the Center’s mission and enjoyed meeting with representatives of other companies and organizing events and campaigns to support Courage Center.
Normandale is a great place to learn—both in and out of the classroom—according to Tucker, who advises student to take advantage of everything Normandale has to offer.
"The number of programs, student activities, and other opportunities Normandale has to help students work in the community is incredible," said Tucker. "Our student leaders were very engaged in the entire Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. These activities create a great opportunity for students to develop leadership skills that carry over to regular jobs outside of school."