“I was born West of Chicago, but grew up in Rochester Hills, Michigan. In 2007, I moved to China because my dad’s company asked him to help set-up a plant in Shanghai. When 2008 hit, the entire company was impacted and he was eventually laid off. We moved back to Michigan and I saw the transition that happened in my family dynamic and the world. Despite not fully understanding why it happened, I saw the impact the financial crisis left. That led me to accounting and finance at Michigan State where I prepared for investment banking, reached out to alumni, and built my network.
I was the first student in MSU history to get that New York City i-banking job at Goldman Sachs. But after working for a year and a half, I didn’t have time for anything but work and I hit a plateau where I wasn’t learning enough daily, so I asked myself, “What do I value more, time or money?”. I remember vividly the day I quit. My yearly bonus hit my bank account Friday night, it was Labor Day weekend, and the following Tuesday at 7am, before my VP could even get to his chair, I asked him into a conference room. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. There were so many emotions. It felt like a breakup. I remember thinking, “What have I done?”. Everyone thinks you’re crazy and the self-doubt starts to creep in. It was hard, I did very well in college and got my dream job, so after leaving, it felt like I had lost a huge chunk of my identity.
Trevor, my cofounder, and I met our freshman year at MSU. After graduating, we stayed in touch and kept a Slack with 100+ business ideas. Our company originally formed around the idea of an information product for landing your dream job. Our biggest strategy is to help people network into that position by building relationships and being pulled into the company.
Brio has Italian/Spanish origin and it means “to live life vigorously or with vivacity”, and we wanted people to live full of “brio”, so we chose Brioful. If you google Brioful, we finally come up instead of it autocorrecting to biofuel. Things are looking up!
3 Arts Club Cafe is one of my favorite mobile offices!”
- Jamie, Entrepreneur