Brian Fernander was working in a financial institution in his native Nassau, Bahamas in 2012 when he attended a music workshop conducted by Dr. Walter Swan, professor of music and voice at ECSU. Meeting Dr. Swan changed Brian’s life, because as a result of their discussions, Brian decided to come to the United States and pursue his studies at ECSU, on a music scholarship. He had enough college credits to transfer into ECSU as a sophomore.
What, you may ask is a guy working in a financial institution doing getting a scholarship in music to study in the United States?
Well, it’s an interesting story, and best told by Brian, himself.
“I grew up with two loves in my home country of The Bahamas---- music and math. From an early age, I was involved in singing and dancing, and in school, I was fascinated with solving math problems. Music is something you feel, and math is something you think about, but I think I always felt that they were ---and are--- strangely similar. There’s something rhythmical about both--- the art of singing and staying within the confines of a melody and the discipline of solving problems using formulae and logic.”
“I had decided that I probably wouldn’t be able to make a career of song and dance, but I wanted to somehow find a way to pursue that passion, going forward. For a career, I figured accounting had promise and it would allow me to indulge my other passion of math. To that end, I kept singing, but I took a job at the bank and went to class part-time to begin earning the credits I would need to become an accountant--- and eventually become a certified public accountant. “
“Then, I attended a workshop Dr. Swan was holding in Nassau and he offered me a scholarship to attend ECSU to work toward my degree while indulging both my passions. It was a good decision to come to ECSU, because I’ve been able to participate in choir, musical theater productions, mentor students and to study accounting. I majored in accounting, but got a minor in music performance---- and have had the opportunity to live and study in the United States! It’s been the best of all possible worlds for me.”
Brian will be pursuing a master’s degree after graduation from ECSU in December 2014, either in project management at George Washington University or accounting at Clark Atlanta University. With either degree, he plans to take his CPA license test in the near future and begin his career as a Certified Public Accountant. But, along the way, he’ll keep singing, he promises us...
Favorite place on campus: Mickey L. Burnim Fine Arts Center
Professor who has influenced you the most: Dr. Walter R. Swan, Professor, Department of Music
Advice for other students: Pursue the career that compliments you best, set the required goals, know your purpose for attending college, take advantage of every opportunity and learn from each experience.