Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Volunteer Spotlight: Brian Wallace

Brian Wallace is originally from Charlotte, North Carolina. He has an undergraduate degree in business administration from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master's degree in business administration (MBA) from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is a very proud Tar Heel. Their men's basketball team has won five NCAA tournament championships including 2009.

Brian presently works as a Senior Manager for Allstate Insurance Company. He has worked with them for 13 years, but he just moved to an office in Northbrook, IL, in July 2008. His job has a lot to do with finance, measurement, and analytics. He essentially analyzes how effective and profitable their business is. Right now he is in a Leadership Rotational Program which rotates him through three different work areas. Within the next five years, he hopes to move up to the director level of management in the area of direct sales and service.

What keeps Brian committed to his job after so many years is the relationships. "I have people I've worked with that I'm still in contact with 10 years later," says Brian, "and some I met two or three years ago who I work with a lot now." He has the opportunity to move around within the company and work with a lot of different people which is a gratifying experience often absent in big companies.

Outside of work, Brian likes to travel, read, and work out. His favorite U.S. cities are Miami and New York; he's a big fan of John Grisham; and he ran the Chicago Marathon this year (all 26.2 miles!). Since coming to Chicago, his favorite thing to do is explore and discover new restaurants. He recommends Carnivale on Fulton Market and Sticky Rice on North Western.

Brian found out about Cabrini Connections through his job's volunteer site. He works with 7th grader and Youth Leadership Council Member Israel Dosie. "It has been a very rewarding experience," says Brian. "I look forward to it every week." He says he and Israel get along very well because they have mutual respect for each other. To get to know your student, he suggests being open and approachable. "Share information about yourself," he says. "Make them feel at ease." A lot of tutors have found openness to be beneficial to relationship-building. We're glad it's working for you!

For the holidays, Brian plans to spend Christmas with his family. He has a younger brother and a younger sister and his parents still live in Charlotte. For New Year's Eve, he will be in New York for a function with his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi. Have fun, Brian! You deserve it. Thanks for being a great mentor.

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