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Full Circle: Brandi Hilliard, Director of Career, Learning & Engagement

Full Circle: Brandi Hilliard, Director of Career, Learning & Engagement

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Brandi Hilliard poses in front of a greenery background that could be a bush or a tree with green leaves. Brandi is smiling and wearing a grey blazer with a purple tee in a headshot style photo.

Image: Brandi Hilliard, Director of Career, Learning & Engagement (PLU Photo/John Froschauer)

February 17, 2023
By Lisa Patterson ‘98
PLU Marketing and Communications Guest Writer

As a first-generation college student, Brandi Hilliard was nervous when she began her studies at Pacific Lutheran University. But those uncomfortable feelings soon diminished.

“I found PLU to be a warm, supportive and an intimate community, which made it an easy place to fit in,” she said.

Now as PLU’s Director of Career, Learning & Engagement working in Alumni and Student Connections, she is helping students feel at home as they forge their own paths at PLU, and she’s helping guide them to what’s next.

Tell us about your own experience as a PLU student.

I’ve been a PLU student twice, both as an undergrad and as a graduate student, and I’ve truly loved both experiences.  … I enjoyed having small class sizes where professors knew my name and offered office hours to chat about academics, career options and life in general.

How did your experience and background prepare and inspire you for your new role as Director of Career, Learning & Engagement? 

Working with teenagers (as a high school English teacher) taught me that one of my biggest passions is helping students find their vocational calling, and then helping them turn their dreams into reality.

Are you working on any projects that you would like to share?

There are a lot of local employers looking to recruit students from PLU for jobs and internships because they’ve found our graduates to be some of the most passionate, hard-working and service-oriented employees.

What kind of new events can people look forward to?

While we’re still going to offer opportunities like lunch and learns, workshops and career treks, we’re also working on a number of networking dinners.

 What other programs can students and alumni be involved in?

Our career services team is working to expand our mentoring and job shadow programs that connect current students with alumni. Through these opportunities, students can get life and career advice, explore fields and industries they’re interested in pursuing and build connections.

Your job sounds rewarding and positive. How would you describe it? 

Impactful and purposeful. It’s a great feeling to know that many decisions I make have the potential to make a significant impact on a student’s life.  

Why is it important for alums to stay connected to PLU and its students? 

Alumni have the opportunity to support current students in ways that no one else can.

What else do you want people to know about Alumni and Student Connections? 

In this day and age, everyone is busy, and it can be hard to prioritize how to spend our time. ASC makes it easy for students and alumni to stay up to date on our upcoming events, programs and services through our ASC Events Calendar