Because of leaders like Paige Bruman, Global Brigades has a tremendous presence on the University of Florida campus.
In 2017, Paige was a freshman studying accounting when she came across UF’s Business Brigades Chapter. Four years later, Paige has participated in two in-person Business Brigades and a virtual Business Telebrigade to Panama, is attending graduate school to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), and has signed a full-time job offer with Deloitte, a proud partner of Global Business Brigades.
The Impact of Inventory Tracking
Paige’s first Business Brigade in May 2019 connected her with members of the Panamanian community of Puerta Lara. Paige’s very first client was a family that sold handmade artisan figurines and jewelry. After hearing and observing the clients’ current business techniques, Paige and her fellow volunteers learned that the family wasn’t keeping tangible track of their inventory and sales.
“After weeks selling at local markets, the mother of the family traveled four to five hours into Panama City to purchase more inventory. She would forget items that were needed back home. They were so focused on making the next in-the-moment sale that they weren’t keeping track of wholesale purchases and sales.”
At the end of her first Brigade, Paige was thrilled to watch the client family’s father take the time to log every sale, every inventory need, and every significant detail despite the market being quite busy and hectic. Her initial brigade experience and the two to follow ignited her passion for making a difference in others’ businesses and livelihoods.
“You could see it in his eyes, he was so proud of what he had learned. It was a life-changing moment, not only for him, but for me. That’s when I realized you don’t need a CPA or an MD or a PhD to make a difference. You just need to get involved.”
Paige (pictured front, second to left) and fellow UF Business Chapter Volunteers On Brigade
Two In-Person Brigades and a Virtual TeleBrigade
Throughout her college career, Paige has participated in two in-person Business Brigades and one virtual business TeleBrigade, all to Panama. She reflects on both types of experiences as equally impactful, although in very different ways.
“The cultural experience of being in-country is something that just can’t be matched. But you’re only in-country for seven days and it’s a packed seven days. With TeleBrigades, which is two sessions over four to six weeks and planned around class schedules, you can really go in-depth, see the bigger picture, and make a deeper impact for your clients.”
“GB is different.”
Apart from Paige’s involvement in GB, she keeps busy as a full-time graduate student and working as a student assistant for several accounting classes at UF. Through all her ambitious endeavors, Paige emphasizes the ways in which Global Brigades sticks out to her.
“That’s what I love about Global Brigades. It’s unlike anything else on campus. In a world where it seems like everyone is doing exactly the same thing and joining exactly the same clubs as everyone else, GB is different. Yes, you still gain resume-building experience, but you also make such an impact on people’s lives and learn so much about yourself and the world we live in.”
Community Leader presented with a new computer on Paige's 2nd Brigade to Panama
Global Brigades at the University of Florida
As a graduate student at UF, Paige stays involved with GB through her position as a campus chairperson. Her work as a CC entails representing GB’s Holistic Model on campus through connecting active chapters and working to grow the movement overall. On a campus like UF that has all seven GB program chapters, this is a monumentally important task.
Thank you, Paige, for all that you do for GB and for sharing your #MyGBStory!
On Instagram? Tap @UFglobalbrigades to connect with Paige and her dedicated GB peers.
Interested in getting involved with Global Business Brigades on your university campus? Visit https://business.globalbrigades.org/ to learn more and get started.