Hugh Brown

Hugh Brown

M.B.A. Student
H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship

Opening Doors in Diverse Fields

When Hugh Brown started the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Finance degree program at NSU’s Tampa Student Educational Center (SEC) last summer, he immediately became involved with Tampa’s SEC Student Government Association. Soon after, he began working for another government entity—the Florida governor’s office.

Brown is one of 14 college students from Florida selected to the fifth class of Gubernatorial Fellows. He is the first NSU student to be chosen for this competitive program, and he’s the only student in this year’s class not attending a state university. Students in the program spend nine months working in the Executive Office of the Governor or in government agencies in Tallahassee, gaining firsthand experience in state government.

Brown, 30, started his fellowship last August, working in the Office of Drug Control. He is working on the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program that Governor Charlie Crist signed into law last year. The law mandates the establishment of a statewide database to monitor patients receiving prescription drugs such as oxycodone and morphine.

“It’s been a real eye-opener,” Brown said. “It’s something a lot of people will never really get to experience, and it’s given me an understanding of how things in government have to flow and what has to occur to get a task accomplished.”

Although the fellowship is Brown’s first experience in government, it’s not his first time as a public servant. After graduating from high school in 1998, he joined the Air Force and worked in its medical field, gaining a passion for public service.

“I went into the Air Force on my 19th birthday, and I had no idea what I was doing,” he said. “I grew up really fast. It gave me an understanding of working in public service. Public service is a key part of life.”

After four years in the Air Force, Brown attended Florida State University. That’s where he became active in their Student Government Association, spending two years as vice chair of judiciary.

Since graduating from FSU in 2006 with bachelor’s degrees in history and international affairs, Brown has worked for Northwestern Mutual, specifically in areas of insurance and investments. He enrolled at NSU’s H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship last summer to study finance with hopes of becoming a chartered financial analyst.

During his fellowship, Brown has remained in the M.B.A. program and is taking distance learning courses while in Tallahassee. While his work on the prescription drug monitoring program isn’t directly in his area of study, he has been able to apply his coursework in the M.B.A. program to the project.

“I can look at balance sheets and understand why certain things are there and why an item might cost this much,” he said.

And Brown’s work is gaining notice. Florida Trend magazine profiled him as a Rising Star last year, and he’s earned praise from the head of drug control in the state’s capital.

“We think that Hugh is a great young man,” said Bruce Grant, director of the Office of Drug Control. “He has been doing a terrific job in our office and is a great representative of the university.”

After completing the fellowship in May, Brown will turn his focus full time to the M.B.A. program and plans to graduate by spring 2011. He wants a career that will put his finance and government experience to use.

“I’m meeting a lot of people in different areas—within government, outside of government, and even in different areas of finance,” said Brown. “I think the fellowship will open doors in my career down the road.”

More information on the Gubernatorial Fellows Program is available at www.floridafellows.com.