Student Spotlight – Josh Brickman

 

Quickfire Questions

Name: Josh Brickman
Year: Second
Campus: Baltimore
Company: Under Armour
Title/Role: Manager, Data Engineering
Hometown/Current Town:  Annapolis and Baltimore, Maryland
Alma Mater: University of Maryland
Family/Pets: I have two older sisters, and currently live with my fiancee (Liz) and our rescue pitbull (Sheldon)
Favorite Baltimore Area Restaurant: I’m allergic to onions and garlic, so restaurants are tough for me…any good steak joint is a win
Favorite Baltimore/D.C. Area Tourist Destination: Camden Yards
Favorite Travel Destination: I went to South Africa for my study abroad, and that was amazing. My honeymoon will be in Thailand, so that may take the top spot.
Favorite Book: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Favorite Movie: Snatch
Favorite Song/Artist: My musical taste is similar to a middle schooler, currently a big fan of Havana…
Favorite Podcast: Serial (Season 1, of course)
Currently Binging on Netflix/Hulu/Amazon:
The Path
Dream Job: Travel blogger (without the blog though…)
What’s your Guilty Pleasure? What can’t you live without? Old Bay

Let’s Get to It

Have you always been interested in information technology or is it an industry you became interested in later in life? What interests you about IT? I’ve always been a numbers guy, and all of my career has been focused around data and data analytics. I was never in IT until I came to Under Armour, but it’s really interesting to learn about how all of the systems we take for granted actually work.

Tell us about your role at Under Armour? For the past two years, I have managed our data conversion team for an enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation project for Under Armour. Soon I will be shifting to a more functional role focused on improving our technology platform for our operations in China.

You led efforts to switch Under Armour’s entire database. Can you tell us about how it came to fruition and what the ultimate process was? What are some practical learnings from the experience? Under Armour went from having two ERP systems (one for Wholesale and one for Retail) into one ERP system which combined the two. In a nutshell, my team pulled the data from the old systems, transformed it into data the new system needed, and loaded to the new system. I had almost no experience with both the old and the new system functionality, so my practical learning was to ask a TON of questions until I felt comfortable I could understand all of our processes at least at a high level.

You also managed a team of more than 20 employees. What is that like on a day-to-day basis? What is your number one tip for being a good manager? Managing a large group forces you to focus on the bigger issues and not to sweat the small stuff. If an issue seemed minimal, then I would simply follow up at a later point. If it’s truly a big issue, then we need to discuss the finer points of the problem and come up with a solution. My number one tip for being a good manager is to be comfortable with change and focus on solutions, not problems.

Can you tell us how your experience so far in the MBA program has influenced your work product? Time is definitely in short supply when you’re working full-time and going to school – my time in the program has forced me to be more efficient. Let the small stuff slide and focus on the big stuff.

What’s your favorite memory from your experiences on the Baltimore campus? Those 15 minutes before class when you’re catching up with friends on campus are a great escape.