In this Q&A, Rich reflects on his time at The Fletcher School, and how his experience has led to continued success.
“Attending the Fletcher School was a fantastic opportunity and experience for me. The smaller, specialized learning environment helped foster growth that prepared me to attend a large university after high school. I am not sure I would have been prepared for college in the same way if I hadn’t attended Fletcher. The education was tailored to my specific learning style, which I needed at the time. The relationships I created at Fletcher will last a lifetime, and I am proud to be a part of one of the first graduating classes.”
Tell us a little bit about yourself (where you live, current job, hobbies, family, etc.):
I’ve been married for seven years, and we have a 19-month-old daughter named Sophia. We live here in Charlotte, and I am a hybrid wholesaler for a company called Brighthouse Financial, so I travel around the country and create relationships with financial advisors and try to get them to sell our financial products here at Brighthouse.
I was in a band for 4 years, I play the drums. Was doing about 60 dates a year. But with more work travel and with my daughter, that’s been put on the back burner. I go to a lot of Panthers games. I went to East Carolina after Fletcher, so I’m a huge East Carolina Football fan. That’s my life right now… Work, and family, and the occasional sporting event or concert. (Interview occurred in early 2020 prior to the restrictions of the global pandemic.)
What years and grades did you attend Fletcher? What was the difference between Fletcher and your former school?
I attended Fletcher for 10th-12th Grades (2006-2008). I had a weird academic career. I was in a Catholic school for Grades K-6 and then for Grades 7-9 I went to public school. The class sizes were big, and I was doing ok academically. But at the time, my parents felt that a smaller environment and more one-to-one time with teachers was a good idea. I was resistant at first, but it ended up being the best thing for me, and I ended up having three really good years there. I had about 13 students in my graduating class, so we all got to know each other pretty well. Mrs. Helen Weaver helped me find the STEPP program at East Carolina. That was a really good bridge to a larger school. It ended up being a really good transition.
Did you have a favorite teacher or mentor? Favorite class? Favorite project?
I was on the basketball team and that’s something I had a lot of fun with… before the gym was there. And, a lot of my friends were on the team. I worked with an Upper School faculty member to start the Ultimate Frisbee team. I remember when they built the bubble as the gymnasium. That was a big deal.
I had some really awesome teachers. All my teachers were phenomenal. I had a really good experience there.
What was your educational journey after Fletcher? How did Fletcher set you up for success?
I graduated from Fletcher in 2008, started at East Carolina that fall and graduated in 2012. I got a degree in public relations and journalism. And that’s what I did when I got out of school - I went to Chicago and worked for a big advertising firm.
Did your experience at Fletcher influence your career path or current work? How did Fletcher set you up for success?
It’s hard to know what my academic life would have been like if I stayed at Myers Park which is a huge public school. But I don’t think I would have been as prepared for a major 30K student university. I probably would have done fine, but maybe not as good academically. And I don’t know if I would have found East Carolina without the help of Fletcher in figuring out where would be a good fit for me. Best decision I ever made.
What are your goals/hopes for the future?
My long-term plans are staying at Brighthouse, staying with this business, and raising my family.