A swimming and track and field athlete at Norfolk Academy, Evan Brush '10 went on to graduate from the University of Virginia, where he rejuvenated the school boxing club, studied abroad, and volunteered for Christ Episcopal Church in Charlottesville. For the past six years, Evan has been a Captain in the Marine Corps as an intelligence officer with their special operations command (MARSOC). During his tenure, he was stationed first in Japan, then in South Korea at the height of nuclear tensions in 2018, and finally was on combat deployment in Somalia at the height of the pandemic in 2020. He is now a retired Marine Corps officer, getting his MBA at Columbia University while starting a charity that encourages high achieving students to consider joining the military after college.
Learn more about Evan Brush '10
Extracurricular Activities/Athletics at NA: Swimming, Track
College Graduation Year/Major or Concentration: University of Virginia, 2014, B.A. in English, Minor in History
Extracurricular Activities/Athletics in College: President of Club Boxing; four-year participant in 'Seeds of Hope Mission Trip' to Sao Paulo, Brazil; studied abroad in Valencia, Spain and through Semester at Sea; Chi Phi Fraternity Rush Chair
Awards/Honors in college or professional life: Recipient of two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with 'C' Device; Half-Ironman Triathlon Finisher; had several articles published digitally and in print via The Mockingbird magazine (mbird.com).
Tell us where you work, your job title, and a brief summary or description of your organization or company: Prior to starting at Columbia Business School (CBS), I spent nearly six years as an Intelligence officer in the Marine Corps. I started my career in Okinawa, Japan and then worked in South Korea. The Marine Corps provided amazing opportunities to lead at a young age. I was then selected to be the intelligence officer for a special operations unit. After about a year of training we deployed to Somalia for six months. Working with some of the best intelligence professionals in the military while overseas was an absolute privilege.
Describe a bit more about your role: Managing a team of intelligence analysts and collectors in a combat environment was a truly formative experience. Each day I was inspired by my Marines' tireless drive, hard-earned expertise, grit, and dedication. Hopefully the skills I gained from managing this team and presenting our findings to both tactical and strategic-level leaders while on deployment will translate to the private sector as I start a new career path.
What do you look forward to the most in your profession? I was an English major in college and came from a non-business background prior to starting at CBS. Because of that, every day at business school is both exciting and a bit overwhelming. Everything is new and interesting to me so far (yes, even accounting) but I'm looking forward to a day, maybe a few years from now, when I really feel comfortable in whatever field I decide to specialize in.
What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working? My wife Cary Gentry '12 and I love exploring New York with friends. But we also love coming home, sitting on the beach, and (since she's a librarian) always having a good book to pass the time. We're also running our first marathon together this month!
How did your experience at Norfolk Academy prepare you for what you are doing today? Any favorite memories or teachers that had a big impact on you? NA has an incredible number of veteran role models for students even vaguely interested in the military to talk to. The more I see other schools the more I cherish that unique aspect of the NA community. Mr. Horstman, in particular, showed me that the military was not some mythical thing to watch from the sidelines but a viable career choice after college. He also exemplified the value of being kind, empathetic, and approachable, contrary to stereotypes about military leadership styles. Finally, I loved NA's emphasis on participation in athletics. Despite being a pretty terrible athlete myself, I was able to be part of incredible teams. This gave me the opportunity to learn invaluable and often difficult lessons that are hard to teach outside the athletic field. It allowed me to learn my own limitations and how to deal with them as well as how to treat setbacks and disappointments, all in the low stakes environments of the track and pool. Those lessons NA helped me learn years ago have proven invaluable as I have gotten older and the stakes have gotten higher.