Meet the SJSU Braven Brand Ambassadors

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By: Martin Tran, Spring 2017 Braven Fellow at San José State University


San José State University provides numerous resources for students to develop their career and leadership skills. Braven’s mission is to empower promising, underrepresented young people—first-generation college students, students from low-income backgrounds, and students of color—with the skills, confidence, experiences, and networks necessary to transition from college to strong first jobs, which lead to meaningful careers and lives of impact. 

Martin Tran, Spring 2017 Braven Fellow at San José State University
Martin Tran

I took Braven during the spring semester of 2017. I had a great experience taking the career accelerator course because it helped me develop career skills. I felt supported by the staff, my leadership coach, Lisa Monzon, and my team members in “Bounceback” (our cohort). I was able to build relationships with various professionals from different industries. As a graduate of Braven, I continue to use the skills that I developed while in the course. I believe in the saying that “Good things come to those who wait patiently”. I have been receiving various job offers this year and recruiters who use Linkedin and Handshake have been contacting me for possibilities. 

Last year, I was elected to participate in the Braven Brand Ambassador program. This role allowed me to use my leadership skills to build a partnership with Evergreen Valley College to create awareness for transfer students. In addition, I wrote a blog post about my career aspirations in journalism. Being an ambassador helped me feel a sense of belonging on campus. Promoting the program along with other ambassadors was a positive experience for me.

I had the honor of interviewing the current SJSU Braven Brand Ambassadors (BBAs) for today’s blog post. The ambassadors reflected proudly on their experiences in Braven at SJSU and expressed their appreciation for the professional opportunities that Braven has been able to provide for them.



Kennis Ko, Spring 2017 Braven Fellow at San José State University

Kennis Ko

How has Braven impacted you? 

I was honored to be in the Instagram cohort where I learned from a great coach, Jenni Romanek. In the Design Thinking Hackathon, our team won first place and I was able to present solutions in front of management of Linkedin. Braven equipped me with communication and networking skills to achieve my goals.

Why did you become a Braven Brand Ambassador (BBA)? 

Since I gained so much from Braven, I needed to give back in some way. Being a BBA is one of the greatest ways to stay in touch with Braven!

How is being a BBA helping you on your career path?

I have great communication and leadership skills now. I can handle any conversation with anyone genuinely. I also exchange emails from founders, CEOs, managers, engineers, and more.

You’re a busy college student. What do you enjoy doing outside of work? 

I currently purse outside certificates to accelerate my knowledge and skills. I go to the gym every week, too, to stay in shape.


Maleah Mariano, Spring 2017 Braven Fellow at San José State University

Maleah Mariano

How was your experience in Braven? 

Overall, it’s been a positive impact and memorable experience!

Why did you become a Braven Brand Ambassador (BBA)? 

When I first joined Braven, I was so intrigued by it that I knew I wanted to do more than be just a Fellow. I wanted to take the next step in becoming an ambassador so I could stay involved and eventually become an intern. It’s my way of giving back and contributing to the experience of the current Fellows — the same way past ambassadors did while I was a Fellow.

How was your experience being at an offsite, non-campus Braven location? 

I’m really happy I was able to experience it off-site! It gave me a glimpse into the corporate world — just sitting in their meeting rooms gave us that extra sense of being part of a corporate company and their culture.

How did your cohort support your career aspirations? 

My cohort supported my career aspirations by listening. They made the effort to get to know me so that they could help me make decisions based on what I like, what would make me happiest, etc.

Would you recommend Braven to other students? 

The network and platform they provide is something that I haven’t experienced anywhere else. This is not a class to just get a grade and move on, it is an interactive course to gain skills to carry on with you. So, yes!

What brings you joy? 

I really love food. I love learning how it’s made and why it’s made. I enjoy getting to know businesses and their owners and their stories of why they opened up a shop. I have an Instagram dedicated to food photography and it’s definitely something I make time for because it keeps me sane when life gets stressful.


Daniel Murrary, Spring 2017 Braven Fellow at San José State University

Daniel Murray

How was your experience in Braven? 

I received a lot of support from the people who work here. They’ve helped me better understand my destination for after I graduate.

What did you and your Leadership Coach work on for your career path? 

When I was still a Fellow, my LC and I worked on finding ways I could learn more about what I wanted to do, which was to be a Clinical Therapist.

How did you hear about the ambassador role?  

I heard about the ambassador role through Lesley Alegria, Braven Program Manager.

What made you interested in the role? 

Lesley gave me a list of roles I could partake in as a PAF and I chose to be a BBA because it called to what I want to do in life — be the person who can help others be better and allow them to experience an opportunity of a lifetime.

Would you recommend Braven to future SJSU students? 

Absolutely, 100 %!

What do you do as a BBA?

As a PAF and a Braven Brand Ambassador, I sometimes go and talk about Braven and my experience with it to freshman students. When possible, I help those within Braven anyway I can, whether it be through interviews, volunteer work, or attending an event.


Jeff Stanley

How has Braven impacted you? 

After joining Braven, I had more clarity on what I wanted to do after college and deviated from my original path (which I wasn’t as keen on, to begin with) to a path that aligned more with my values and strengths. They gave me numerous resources and connected me with patient, kind, and wise people to help me discover my path.

Would you recommend the Braven career accelerator? 

Even before being a BBA, I was promoting Braven to my friends. It has done so much for me, and I think it can do wonderful things for other people from similar backgrounds. I wanted to be that resource for students who were trying to navigate college and their potential career because I knew how it felt to be lost and not know how to navigate the whole college/professional experience.

You’re a busy college student. What do you do for enjoyment? 

I enjoy drinking tea (Sencha Matsuri at Lupicia, if anyone wants to buy me some!), playing PS4, watching comedy, trying new restaurants, discovering new music, and hanging out with friends


If you’re interested in becoming a Braven Brand Ambassador at SJSU, please contact