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Erik Brazzo

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’93 Administration of Justice | Head of Fraud and Risk Strategy, Walmart eCommerce | Sunnyvale, CA
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Erik Brazzo

Liberal Arts Major: Administration of Justice

What enrichment activities did you participate in as a student?

During my junior year, I completed a three-month internship with the Allentown Police Department in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which I loved.

What was your first job after graduating from Penn State?

I worked for a private security company making $6/hour. I did this for several years, while I tried to get into a law enforcement position. Although it wasn't what I wanted to do, it turned out to be a foundational part of my overall experience that got me to where I am today. I quickly worked my way up in the company, and within two years I held a manager position overseeing twenty-five security operators. At age 25, I had gained the experience I needed to move into other jobs requiring manager experience, which ultimately allowed me to further advance in my career.

What were your favorite classes?

I really enjoyed philosophy classes. I think it played into the analytical part of my brain.

How did your liberal arts education and skills prepare you for life after graduation?

I think the large campus life at Penn State prepared me well in general. Although, back in my day, we actually had to go to the "stacks" to search for books to write our papers.

What networking advice would you share with current students?

Remember this: “People will not always remember what you did, but they will ALWAYS remember how you treated them.” Wish I could take credit for this, but someone much more profound said it first. Regardless, it has held true over my entire career. The world is a small place. You will be surprised at how many times your career path will overlap with people you have worked with in the past.

What role have mentors played in your career progression?

I was lucky to have several mentors early in my career. In fact, I would not be as successful as I am today without them. Finding someone with experience to help guide me through tough times was critical in my ability to move forward in a leadership role. A true mentor will point out your strengths, as well as your areas of opportunity. My best advice: Learn to be humble. Criticism and self-reflection are great tools to improve yourself.

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