MEDIA, Pa. — Seven years after completing his bachelor’s degree at Penn State, alumnus Chris Bradley, class of 2015, found himself back at Brandywine as a member of the campus Advisory Board.
Bradley began his Penn State journey at Brandywine in 2011, majoring in communication arts and sciences. After transferring to a nearby university for his second year, he transferred back to Penn State at University Park. In 2021, he returned to Penn State to earn graduate certificates in lean six sigma and executive leadership development at Great Valley.
During his time at Penn State, Bradley played intramural sports and was the morale chair for THON. He was also a sous chef for Brandywine’s on-campus catering and a main chef at Bradley’s Cheesesteaks and Hoagies in downtown State College.
Bradley says that meeting so many new people was his favorite part about his time at Penn State. He credits this to studying communications in college.
“I enjoyed meeting people from all over the country and different walks of life to understand their stories of how and why they were at Penn State,” Bradley said. “Since I was in communications, I liked getting to network and connect with different people. I also really liked meeting people from Delaware County and the Tri-State area. I developed a lot of great relationships with people from the area.”
After graduating with his master’s degree from West Chester University, Bradley began working in the technology industry. He noted that he’s wanted to go into the technology field since he was in high school.
“I remember when I was in high school at Garnet Valley, an alumnus named Kevin O’Donoghue (Garnet Valley High School class of 1984) spoke in front of our entire football team about technology. It piqued my interest from a young age,” Bradley recalled. “Kevin explained you’ll always have a job in technology if you adapt to it and just keep learning. The nice part about the technology industry is that it’s constantly evolving and changing, which is what I love about it.”
His first job out of college was at Comcast in Philadelphia. After finding out that he didn’t want to work in a corporate setting, he found a small company out of West Chester called 4TelecomHelp that took him on.
“The CEO, president and vice president of 4TelecomHelphelped mentor to me to be effective and understand how to run a company. With only 15 employees, we were a lean and mean company. It sold for a large, undisclosed amount about a year ago.”
Once the company sold, Bradley worked in the software industry for a year until he was asked to become a partner at another company called i-core networks, where he started officially on March 1. At i-core networks, he’s a part owner, technology consultant, adviser and broker. The company helps businesses around the globe with their technology needs, including internet, phone systems, cabling and cybersecurity, as well as managed services, a data center and cloud services.
In November 2022, Bradley decided to join Brandywine’s Advisory Board, with the goal of giving back to Penn State students in any way possible.
“My uncle, Michael Bradley, has always been involved with Penn State and has served on the Advisory Board for the past 38 years. He’s always been an advocate for helping Penn State alumni and giving back to the community. Next to my parents, I would consider him to be one of my role models,” he said. “I realized that it was time for me to give back my time, knowledge and experiences to help other people succeed.”
Bradley says that his favorite part of being on Brandywine’s Advisory Board is the faculty, staff and board members.
“Everyone gives 150% to solve problems for the students and help them with whatever their needs are,” he said. “These people are here to contribute and help move things forward for Brandywine and Penn State. The Brandywine Advisory Board has a lot of smart people.”
When asked what advice he would give to current Penn State students, Bradley said they should tap into their local connections.
“The connections you reach out to don’t have to be Penn State alums,” he said. “They could be your family or your friends. Understand what people do, and if it aligns with something you have an interest in, reach out to them and pick their brain.”
He also talked about the importance of following up with people you connect with.
“That’s where I feel a lot of students miss the gap,” Bradley said. “It’s kind of like farming — you water a seed, and it grows into something, and it usually takes a while. It could also take a while to develop relationships with those connections. I try to advise students coming out of Penn State to do that, so they can get the ball rolling on networking and connecting.”