From College To The State House


Brandon Pender '07 (far right, rear) with, from left, front, State Rep. Daniel E. Bosley, C-North Adams, Marvin Thompson '10, MCLA President Mary Grant, Jade Prickett '10 and (from left, rear) Kate Collins '11 and Patrick Moran '11 in Boston at State House Day in 2008.


While a student at MCLA, Brandon Pender '07 could be seen as playing as a forward on the College's basketball team, found pouring over video in the AVID film editing suite, choreographing a dance or working on a documentary as part of his Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP) position. But the Queens, N.Y., native, who earned a bachelor's degree in English/communications, surprised even himself after graduation when he accepted a position as a research analyst at the State House in Boston.

"When you step into the real world it's not as easy as it seems, so after graduation, I worked with Career Services and the Alumni Office to find a job," he said. "State Rep. Daniel Bosley had an opening for a research analyst in the office for the Joint Committee of Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, which he was chairman of at the time. I remembered him from a few of the times he had been on campus, either speaking or attending events, so I applied. He gave me a call and asked me to come out to Boston to check out the position on his staff."

Pender, who currently works for the new chairman of the joint committee, state Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, said that although his studies at the College didn't directly point him in the direction of a career in the State Legislature, his classes and internships prepared him for the work he does on a daily basis.

"Everything I did at MCLA prepared me for what I'm doing now, even though I had no idea that I'd be working in the area of policy," he said. "You can work anywhere if you give yourself the opportunity to learn and apply what you know. As an athlete, I learned how to work in a group atmosphere, as well as how to agree to disagree."

"During my internship with the Williams College '62 Center for Theatre and Dance, I was assigned the task of researching grants - to find something that would benefit the documentary I was working on. Today, I do something very similar - I work to find information that will benefit and support the bills of the representative that I work for. I'm still using my degree and the skills I learned at MCLA, I'm just applying them in a different way then I originally thought I would."

Although he works in policy, Pender isn't giving up on his dream of someday working in film.

"It's still a passion of mine," he said. "I still have a passion for athletics and acting. I just performed with a Boston-based dance company and I'm still playing basketball. I'm still doing everything I did when I was at MCLA, just in a slightly different way."