J. David Brown '05, CEO and President of Capital District YMCA
What do you find most challenging
about your job?
Since the YMCA is a non-profit organization, one of the most challenging things about my job is being able to raise more money for the community needs, like social needs, as they relate to the YMCA. Community is a large part of the YMCA, and it’s hard to find the resources that you need to fill that.
How did your time at UAlbany prepare you for your career?
When I enrolled in the MBA program at Albany, I was already working, but it was a great experience because it gave me the opportunity to meet people who had different backgrounds than mine. Some of them were already working professionals like me, and their experiences helped me see how they got to where they are today. It really kind of exposed me to another side of business outside of the not-for-profit world.
What is your favorite memory of your time spent at UAlbany?
The memory that stands out to me is when I had the chance to work with students from Europe during a finance block. We took two finance courses back-to-back in a two-week period. We basically worked 24 hours a day to get our work done, but working with students from another country non-stop for two weeks gave me exposure on how business works in other countries and allowed me to see a different culture as it relate to business.
What did you learn at UAlbany outside of the classroom?
UAlbany gave me an opportunity to make new friends. I developed some business networks that I never would have had without coming to UAlbany. Some people even got involved with the YMCA as a result of us meeting in class. It allowed me to work together with other students both outside the classroom and working on projects while completing our MBA’s.
What advice would you give current students?
I guess the biggest advice I can give would be to take advantage of meeting as many people as you can and develop relationships with them. There are a lot of talented people, both teachers and students in the MBA program and people in general, who can help you personally and professionally for the rest of your life.