12 Jun Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1998 scholar Brian Peagler
Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova.
Scholar Year: 1998
College(s), Degree(s), and Graduation Year(s): University of Denver, Bachelors in Computer Engineering, Masters in Business Administration, 2005
Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation?
I currently work as the finance systems manager for eBags, the world’s largest online retailer of luggage, handbags, and travel accessories. I’m responsible for our back office software, which allows eBags to pay vendors, order inventory, and report our financials. I’ve been with eBags for nearly five years.
The favorite aspect of my current position is that I’m given a lot of autonomy in the work that I perform. I am more involved in the day-to-day business of the company, use my expertise in application development, and find ways to leverage my system to improve our company performance.
What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now?
Being a Boettcher Scholar has had a direct impact on where I am and what I do currently. Thinking back to my senior year of high school, I was dead set on heading out of state for college. Learning that I had won this scholarship quickly changed my mind. Weeks later, I had taken an internship with J.D. Edwards (a software company that has made my career) and was on my way to the University of Denver. There are a handful of life-defining moments and getting that congratulatory phone call is near the top of the list for me.
Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work.
A great deal of my time outside of work is spent in and around the University of Denver. From volunteering on the Alumni Association Board for the Pioneer Leadership Program to attending concerts and athletic events, I am an active alum and engage with the university in any way it will allow me to. The way for me to continuously stimulate my curiosity and push myself to learn new things is to be engaged in a community that fosters that environment.
What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field?
The best advice I’ve received is to find what motivates you. Once you’ve found that, align your career to that motivation as best you can. The easiest way to find work/life balance is to find a career where your life is enriched by it, not weighed against it.
For current graduates entering software development – focus on how you get things done. The syntax and languages will always evolve and change, but if you have a steady focus on your process for producing great applications and tools, you’ll always have the drive to succeed.
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?
I feel like I should list a former U.S. president or world leader, but I would like to have dinner with Jackie Robinson. Besides the major implications he has had on the history of baseball (and American society), he is the single player that inspired me to play baseball and follow the game to this day. I feel that Major League Baseball does a tremendous job in honoring his legacy each year. I’ve read several books about his life, but I would want to learn firsthand some of the history behind playing for the Dodgers during that era.