Growing up in central Indiana, Brandon Collier rarely
considered attending college. In an area where most individuals did not enter
into higher education, Collier moved straight to the working world after high
school. It wasn’t until he moved to Florida to be with his mother that he
decided to pursue a different path, which led him to Hodges University.
As a first generation college student, Brandon Collier
enrolled at Hodges University in 2009 to pursue an associate degree in computer
information technology. Visiting other campuses in Fort Myers, it was
Hodges that made an impact; providing a personalized approach and welcoming
atmosphere. Receiving his degree in 2011, he continued his education and
enrolled in the digital
design and graphics bachelor’s program in the Fisher School of Technology.
“With my background in construction, I was able to learn how
to create prints using Auto CAD. I later used these skills when I was hired as
an engineer technician at a local firm,” he said.
Appreciative of the guidance and knowledge provided to him
by Professor Chip
McElroy, he viewed his professors, as well as other Hodges staff, as
mentors who helped him to grow into a professional. “I was able to change who I
was by learning and gaining knowledge and skills that not everyone has,” he
While growing into a professional, Collier did face
challenges. Feelings of doubt, limited time, frustration, challenging
assignments and little peer-to-peer engagement often left him unsettled and
uncertain; however, by focusing on his learning and asking professors for help,
he overcame the struggles and persevered, graduating with his bachelor’s degree
“One piece of advice I would give to students is to
understand that you are changing things for the better by receiving the
knowledge and skills that come along with a college degree. Keep your eye on
the prize and remember, you are not in it alone.”
Taking his skills and using them in the real world, Collier
works in business development at one of the most successful insurance agencies
in the state. He is in charge of print advertising, targeted marketing, website
development and search engine marketing. In addition, he owns his own business
called Collier Creative of SWFL.
“We help business owners show up online, have a professionally designed website
and market their business. We also do branding and logo design,” he said.
Growing into the professional he always wanted to become,
Collier credits Hodges University for enabling him to become independent and
successful, saying, “I am more independent now than I ever was. Before my
education, I had to depend on others to tell me everything to do…now I tell
them what needs to be done. I am happier and more relaxed.”