October 21, 2013

The Right Fit

When Brian McBrearity ’01 (EMBA) moved to the base of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the plan was to clear his head and determine his next steps. Instead, he fell in love with Africa.
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A few years after finishing the EMBA Program, Brian McBrearity ’01 decided to leave finance. “The excitement was gone,” McBrearity says. “In the role I was in, the learning curve was gone.”

“I feel much more of an emotional commitment to what I’m doing now than I did in finance.”

He moved to the base of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, where he worked as a volunteer teacher. The plan was to clear his head and determine his next steps. Instead, he fell in love with Africa.

Today, McBrearity is director of conservation enterprise at the African Wildlife Foundation. Based in Kenya, he works to protect vulnerable ecosystems by finding economic incentives for locals to conserve. For example, he and his team will help farmers increase their agricultural yield so they don’t have to plow over untamed lands.

McBrearity still uses his business acumen — but in a way that makes him happier. “From my perspective,” he says, “I feel much more of an emotional commitment to what I’m doing now than I did in finance.”