Road to Commencement: Brooke Buchakjian

Woman with blonde hair wearing a white shirt, smiling
Credit: Brooke Buchakjian

MEDIA, Pa. – As Brooke Buchakjian prepares for commencement on May 6, she reflects on her time as a student at Penn State Brandywine and the unique experiences she had.

“I chose to attend Brandywine because it’s so close to home,” Buchakjian said. “A lot of my family members attended Penn State, and since I’m from the area, I chose to attend the Brandywine campus.”

Once starting at Brandywine in 2019, Buchakjian realized how much she enjoys the small campus feel Brandywine has.

“I just love how small the campus is because I’ve gotten to know so many faces,” she said. “I feel like there are people I’ve said ‘hi’ to who I’ve never gotten to know on a personal level, but I see them all the time in the club room and classes. Brandywine is one of the nicest schools, and the people here are so nice.”

“I just love how small the campus is because I’ve gotten to know so many faces."

—Brooke Buchakjian , fourth-year communications student, Penn State Brandywine

Buchakjian joined the Marketing and Communications (MarComm) Club on campus her first year to learn more about the communications industry and make connections. She joined MarComm’s executive board in the beginning of the current academic year as secretary. In the spring semester, she became co-president of MarComm.

“Through MarComm, I’ve definitely made so many connections and friends,” she said. “Becoming co-president has also really helped my public speaking and organizational skills. Having to plan meetings, networking events and recruiting members definitely helped.”

When reflecting on her favorite memory from her time at Brandywine, she thinks of the tutoring sessions she’s had in the STEM lab.

“I would not have passed my math class if it wasn’t for the STEM lab. I’ve struggled with math my entire life and getting a tutor at Brandywine definitely helped me so much,” she said. “On Tuesdays and Thursdays last semester, my friend and I would get to the library as soon as it opened and stay there for two hours for tutoring. Our tutor, Cliff Welby, made math fun for us. He was the best tutor I’ve ever had.”

Buchakjian would also say that one of her biggest accomplishments is taking advantage of Brandywine’s resources and sticking with them.

“There were times when I was getting tutored and wanted to give up. Cliff would explain something to me, and I would tell him that I had no clue what he was talking about,” she said. “I feel like some people would just get up and walk away if they had to face that. I’m proud that I stuck through it and took advantage of Brandywine’s resources during my time here.”

When advising future Brandywine students, Buchakjian said to not take college for granted and have fun.

“College goes by in the blink of an eye. Just have fun, be safe and get involved,” she said. “Get involved and have fun with it. Getting involved is so important, and I regret not getting more involved sooner. I’m glad I’ve had this year to get involved and be in the position I’m in today.”

“College goes by in the blink of an eye. Just have fun, be safe and get involved."

—Brook Buchakjian , fourth-year communications student, Penn State Brandywine