Many of us are familiar with the stereotypical college experience: athletic events, a full social calendar, and not much more to worry about than yourself and keeping a decent GPA. Brent Hosein breaks the stereotype. Brent’s mom and stepdad, Brandy and Chris McAdams, own Focus Property and Focus Development. As such, Brent enjoys opportunities to earn real world, working experience by being a part of the Focus team during his college years.
Speaking to Brent, one quickly realizes he’s a mature 19-year-old. Having just completed his freshman year at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he’s studying business and marketing, he’ll spend the summer months working. Focus Development has offices in both Tampa and Virginia, and Brent spends considerable time doing both administrative and project development work for the group. “It allows me to retain a flexible schedule and the situation is a win-win for all of us,” he shared. By flexible he means about 20 hours of work, per week, during the fall and spring semesters—35 during the summer. He also works for Best Buy. Work ethic is not an attribute he lacks.
Whether in college or many years out, everyone needs to unplug. Brent is aware of that, and while he sometimes feels frustrated by the fact that he’s working while his friends are out socializing, he’s thankful for how his life is structured: “I’ve skipped the immature parts of the college experience. I sometimes envy what other people are doing and that I focus so much time on either work or school, but I’m thankful that I’m developing applicable experience.”
As a rising sophomore, Brent hasn’t taken a deep dive into his major. Still, he’s noticed a gap between textbook information and real world, professional context practice. “Book knowledge is great for background information, but I also learn a great deal from what I do in the workforce,” Brent expressed. He’s confident the knowledge and skills he’s developing on the job, with Focus Development, are making him increasingly qualified for post-baccalaureate positions. “I’m looking forward to progressing past the general education classes and seeing even more connections between the classroom and the professional context.”
Mature as he might be, Brent has days when he’d rather stay in bed. But, he understands that sleeping in won’t get him to his vision of success or his five and ten year goals: “By the time I’m 30, I want to be in a position that allows me to enjoy life. I don’t want to worry because I slacked off during my twenties.” He believes his generation gets a bad rap for moving back in with parents after college and relying on parents to pay bills: “I want to be an adult who can say, ‘I’ve done this for myself and I can sustain myself.’” Brent has lots of opportunity as he’s demonstrated his commitment to meeting and exceeding responsibilities.
Above all, he’s grateful for the attributes he’s inherited from his mom, Brandy: “My mom’s business is successful because she is a go getter and doesn’t stop until she achieves what she wants. I believe in her because she does what she puts her mind to, and I inherited that from her. I take inspiration from her proof that years of hard work do pay off.” Brent draws strength from the fact that Brandy had him when she 18 and went on to run a multimillion dollar company.
Geographically, Brent doesn’t know where he will be after college. His five and ten year goals keep him focused on moving toward success. By 2023, Brent envisions himself as a college graduate working in technology marketing and sales: “Earning a job with a company like Apple, I’d be in heaven.” Forecasting ten years out, Brent sees himself as a married homeowner and higher up the ranks with Apple: “I want to continue moving up as a result of my hard work and dedication to the position. I want to continue developing my professional abilities.” His mindset is characteristic of previous generations, when employees were loyal to one organization from entry into the workforce through retirement.
Brent’s focus on success, achieved by a focus on continued learning, work, and development, is admirable. As a young adult, he’s an asset to the family business and will be an asset to the organizations he will join. “One of the best compliments you can receive as a business owner and parent is when your son says I want to learn the business,” says Brandy.
Categorized in: Work
This post was written by Elevate, Inc.