Hannibal Brooks

Hannibal Brooks

M.S. in Commerce 2018, University of Virginia
B.S. in Food Science 2017, Mississippi State University

Track: Marketing & Management

Hometown: Pensacola, FL

Why did you choose UVA’s M.S. in Commerce Program? As I neared the end of my undergraduate education, I came to an important realization about the next step in my journey. Food Science had provided me amazing opportunities to work with food agencies in D.C., explore bacteriological research, and partake in exciting competitions, but the incremental nature of research felt a little constraining to me. I wanted to take on dynamic challenges and be able to respond flexibly, and the M.S in Commerce seemed like the perfect way to enhance my existing skills and pivot into any field I desired, given the program’s superb track record. I was weighing several options, but after reading the blog and studying the outcomes, McIntire felt like home – and it’s been great! In addition, my brother traveled Charlottesville to join the program as well.

What do you enjoy about the program so far? So far, the incredible variety of both colleagues and coursework has been the most thrilling aspect. Seeing how concepts in Strategy and Systems, Consulting to Management, and Storytelling combine in our first solo project has been really astounding, and seeing the pace at which change happens in the business world is mind-blowing. Classroom discussions are always stimulating, because everyone brings such a rich and distinct approach to the same material. The pace of our assignments as well as the group dynamics feel very reflective of the impending work experience, which is a strong positive.

I really appreciate the inclusiveness of the program. From orientation to today, the program has provided a variety of opportunities to engage socially with faculty, staff, and other students in the program. The culture of the program encourages developing meaningful relationships, getting involved, and taking advantage of everything UVA has to offer.

What has surprised you about the program so far? The biggest surprise might just be the low amount of graded assignments. Nearly all of the classwork is mixture of participation and major, multiweek deliverables, either solo or group affairs. This convergence of criteria really forces everyone to bring their "A" game to lectures every day, and stay connected and organized outside the classroom, traits that will surely come in handy for our professional lives. Among other surprises, the degree of investment of our professors in the success of each student has been heartening to experience.

Fun Fact: 

  • I was a contestant on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" with my brother, Malcolm, as a lifeline.
  • As part of a research project, I was required to raise 1,200 chickens. That meant producing literally tons of specialized food, checking on them at the crack of dawn, and getting to bestow cool nicknames.
  • I had a chance to meet the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who got me interested in "The Godfather" series.
  • I'm a bone marrow donor, as well as a donor to the world's greatest source of information, Wikipedia. 

Hobbies: Playing sports and going on long runs, reading almost anything, traveling to new places, listening to music, going to concerts, and cooking fun meals