Braden Joe '17

Voice Magazine
Film Club, President
Humans of Thayer, President
Tour Guide
Culinary Club
Peer Advisor
Jazz Combo

Hometown: Westwood
Attending: Chapman University

What are you working on for your senior project?

I’ve been directing a film for a charity called FosterOn which helps kids who age out of the foster system. It’s a short documentary to bring attention to problems facing foster kids who essentially lose everything at age 18. After that I’m going to France to stay with a family for one week in Cannes and go to some classes at Thayer’s sister school, Lycée Stanislas.

What are your plans next year?

I’m going to Chapman University in California for a BFA in Film Production.

Did Thayer help shape these plans for you?

Thayer has let me dream beyond what I thought I could do. The connections I've made with alumni and with teachers really opened my mind to the different opportunities out there.

How did college counseling help you find Chapman?

College counseling was absolutely huge for me. Ms. Woods was my college counselor, and I was a little bit anxious about my portfolio for film schools, so I started meeting with her sophomore year. I developed a really close relationship with her, and she was able to help me stay on track, stay sane, and also keep things in perspective. For me, a lot of the schools I applied to had acceptance rates that were absolutely terrifying. But she let me know that everything happens for a reason, just keep calm. She helped me get through senior year.

What was your most challenging class?

Geometry with Mr. Haney. I think that math is the area where I've struggled the most but also matured the most by learning to ask for extra help. There's no shame in getting extra help and I think that's huge. I don't think I would be as successful or as well-rounded if I didn't have the experience of struggling. Looking back, I'm glad I had to learn that because it will help me in the future.

What was your most memorable academic experience?

For an economics research project for Mr. Dixon we got an angel fund, with pretend money, from him to start a business. My best friend and I decided that we wanted to open a film studio working on commercials so we talked to a couple studios in Boston, and we were able to create a business plan that Mr. Dixon said was one of the best he had seen in years. And that I think came from just really trying to get hard work done and we turned a pretty decent profit for a small film studio. It was one of the first times where I got to practice real life skills in an academic environment, which is something that you always sort of wonder, "Oh, will I ever need this in the future?" But, to be honest, the research papers I wrote as a kid now really transition to research in real life. I got an internship last year which turned into a job about a month ago, and I'm doing a lot of research. Those skills definitely carried over.

Mr. Dixon has been a huge influence on me. He was my freshman history teacher and he's been my advisor for the last 3 years. On the second-to-last day of school we went out to breakfast and it didn't feel like I was talking with a teacher. He was a friend.

What’s your favorite memory from your time at Thayer?

Participating in Les Mis. I had done plays here and there when I was a kid and my first real, big one was Footloose my junior year.. And then I heard they were doing Les Mis, which was my favorite musical ever, and I decided to put in some practice over the summer. I had to go the extra mile, but it was worth it because the experience was so rewarding. It was a lot of fun.

What’s your favorite Thayer tradition?

The M5 Regatta (an indoor rowing fundraiser on campus that benefits the Matt Healey Fund, the Wounded Warrior Project, Fisher House Boston, the New England Center and Home for Veterans, and the Warrior Canine Connection). I think that's just because it's something everyone gets so excited for and it's for such a good cause at the same time.

What’s an interesting fact about you that people would be surprised to hear?

I'm actually a surprisingly good cook.I can make pasta sauce from scratch, I can cook a perfect medium rare steak, and I'm getting better at fried rice.