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Dual Commencement Speakers for First In-Person Poole Commencement Since 2019

Poole College of Management has chosen both Jeannie Engelbrecht and Brian Sytsma to represent the 2020 and 2021 graduating classes. Sytsma graduated in spring 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship while Engelbrecht represents the Jenkins MBA Program fall 2021 class. 

“We are thrilled to be able to celebrate our 2020 and 2021 graduates in person,” said Tedd Szeto, assistant dean for undergraduate programs. “Because this is such a unique ceremony, we decided to invite two student speakers – a 2020 undergraduate and a 2021 graduate, to represent their classmates and share their experiences in Poole.”

Meet Brian Sytsma

Sytsma’s first day of orientation for Poole not only left a lasting impression on his academic career but introduced him to his now fiancé and three of his best friends. His experience at Poole has pushed him out of his comfort zones to make impactful connections with a diverse community. 

“This means everything to me,” said Sytsma. “I am proud to call NC State my home and am honored to share stories with the next generation. I care most about this opportunity for the excitement it brings my family and the opportunity to bring a ton of personal and professional value to students beginning their careers.”

During his time at NC State, Sytsma was an Entrepreneurship Clinic mentee and served as an admissions liaison for the Poole Global Corps. He was also the recipient of the East Campus Resident Advisor of the Year Award during his first year as a residential advisor.

Since graduating in 2020, Sytsma is now a mentor for the Entrepreneurship Clinic and runs a wealth management practice that is strategically partnered with Northwest Mutual where he directs their internship program. He looks forward to giving back to the community at Poole that shaped his current career.

Meet Jeannie Engelbrecht

Engelbrecht will be representing Poole’s Jenkins Graduate Programs as she receives her Master of Business Administration this December. Throughout her graduate academic career she was involved in the Graduate Student Association, Jenkins Women’s Club and the McLauchlan Leadership Fellows as well as serving as a senior manager in technology strategy at Express Scripts. 

“Every element of my MBA journey has contributed memorable moments that I’ll always remember,” said Engelbreacht. “Each course experience adds value and insight I may have not had if it weren’t for being a part of the MBA program. This not only includes courses, but the community, student body and career counseling events.”

Engelbrecht is humbled to be chosen as a student commencement speaker and hopes to spread words of inspiration to her fellow Poole students. Following graduation, she intends to continue her education to generate new ideas and perspectives in her professional career.

Engelbrecht and her husband are currently analyzing consumer demands and product opportunities in hopes of pursuing a small business, something she feels confident doing as a result of her Jenkins MBA experience. 

This post was originally published in Poole College of Management News.

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