Spartan education gives entrepreneur confidence to succeed
When Brian Biddulph-Krentar enrolled at York College of Pennsylvania in the early 1990s, he expected to get a specific skill set enabling him to get a job. He ended up leaving with much more.
“I got the confidence to be able to go into a job and know I could learn what I needed in order to be successful and do that job well,” says Brian, a recent recipient of a York College Year of 50 Spartans award. Now, he’s giving back to today’s students.
Brian’s degree is in Informatics, which he describes as learning how to develop technology solutions to work in everyday society. “Every job I have had somehow helped to create or further a technology to better meet the needs of society,” he says. “I started three companies, by producing ideas designed around unmet needs in order to help people.”
Today, he’s the Senior Adviser to the company that recently acquired his latest firm, Magnus Health. He credits the York College curriculum with stretching his mind to think of ways to help people handle sometimes daunting technology and giving him the confidence to believe he could do it.
Meeting practical needs
Twenty-five years ago at York College, the major of Informatics was new, Brian recalls. “It taught me to take technology, make it usable for everyday needs, and help people do their jobs better, whether they’re technologically inclined or not.”
Magnus Health, for instance, helps with collection, tracking, and management of student health information, primarily for K-12. “Having this information at the fingertips of the right person is critical in case of a health emergency for a student,” he states.
Brian says he himself may not have been a memorable student at York College, but a professor there thought differently and still stands out in his former student’s memory.
“Looking back, I didn’t really like Dr. (Bill) Eddins’ classes because they were challenging,” Brian recalls. “However, that was critical to my later success. I had to push myself out of my comfort zone, especially with presentations, to get the confidence to do these, to be in front of a room, learn, understand, and talk about a topic.”
He apparently was memorable to the professor.
“I emailed Dr. Eddins several years after graduating with a work-related question,” Brian says. “He got back quickly and said he was glad to hear from me. That shows how much he cared about his students and was willing to go above and beyond to help a student.”
His turn to help
Now successful in his own right, Brian recently received a Year of 50 Spartans award, recognizing outstanding alumni who have demonstrated dedication, excellence, professional achievement, and most importantly, a commitment to staying engaged with York College after graduating.
“It was an honor to receive this,” he says of the award. “I want to help other students have an opportunity to attend York College and become successful and productive members of society. I’ve had folks who have mentored me during my career and helping the next generation become successful is critical for our society.”
Brian hosts new student receptions and is involved with Q&A panels. He also recommends York College for budding business people.
“Now that YCP has an entrepreneurial program, this is valuable,” he says. “It takes a lot of work to be an entrepreneur, and this program provides the needed experience in different areas, such as accounting, management, marketing, technology, and perhaps most critical, leadership.”
He believes his fellow alumni must play a role, too. “I encourage all alumni who got a good education at York College to give back to other students.” This, Brian feels, will help these students become future leaders and play a vital role in our society in the years ahead.