George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Management Alumnus Evolves Internship into Full-time Position at Norfolk Southern

Written by Katherine Johnson on .

GibsonBrendan Gibson, BS management ’16, knew George Mason University was the university for him after stepping foot into the school’s social center, the Johnson Center. Gibson, from Yorktown, VA, visited several schools, but felt at home at George Mason.

“As I walked through each campus, it was important to me that I could envision myself fitting in and feeling like I belonged,” he said. The interactive student community and “upbeat creative expression” on display intrigued Gibson to learn more about the opportunities offered at Mason and the School of Business.

Once on-campus, Gibson quickly got involved with student activities and groups, including playing mellophone in the Green Machine pep band, playing ultimate Frisbee, participating in Greek life, and serving as a Mason resident advisor. “I loved every minute of being busy and involved,” he said.

In the School of Business, Gibson was encouraged to expand his professional skills by Career Services with an internship at Norfolk Southern. He was selected from a large pool of candidates to intern with the Paper, Clay, and Forest marketing group at Norfolk Southern.

“I learned about how traffic moves on the railroad and all of the intricate decision making details. There are market managers that control different commodities and I spent time with each of them to understand what helps them determine prices, costs, business opportunities, and an overall comprehensive understanding into what drives their markets,” he said. “It was wonderful learning so much from those intelligent marketing managers because I would eventually be in their shoes.”

Gibson’s dedication and enthusiasm during his internship translated into a full-time position with Norfolk Southern upon graduation. Currently he serves as the assistant marketing manager in the Paper, Clay, and Forest division, managing the commodities of woodchips, clay, scrap paper, and canned goods.

“These markets keep me on my toes and very involved with my customers on a daily basis. I enjoy my position as a marketing manager because I have autonomy to price business as I see fit within the market, it is constantly changing which keeps day-to-day work from being mundane, and I work with ten other bright and helpful team members. There is never a hesitation to lean on each other and therefore no question unsolvable,” he said.

As a School of Business alumnus, it’s important for Gibson to stay involved because he wants to see the school’s growth. He keeps up with alumni news and stays in touch with friends still at the business school.

“I want to watch the business school grow and prosper beyond what I was able to witness firsthand during my time at Mason. The sky is the limit for the School of Business, and I want to watch them get there.”