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Date: Friday, August 24, 2012, 5:00am CDT
"After completing my masters degree at UAB, [through] Information Engineering and Management (IEM) I was fired up about starting a business. After some soul searching I decided that all my passions aligned around Project Management and that's when I opened The Braintrust Consulting Group."
It was during a meeting with Innovation Depot CEO Susan Matlock that Brian Rabon paused to ask, "What is the secret to small business success?"
Her one-word answer surprised him: Persistence.
"Looking back, I truly feel that holding the course and pushing through the storms has been tremendous for us," said Rabon, president of the project management firm, BrainTrust Consulting Group.
The six-year-old company has found success not only through persistence, but adaptability. Today, Rabon said his team runs to keep up with client requests for training.
"Honestly, it's a great problem to have," he said.
His original business plan was developed with input from business partner, Kate Megaw, and an external adviser.
"We cast a wide net in the Birmingham market and, for a while, we didn't catch anything," he recalled. "Then we started getting lots of requests for training."
They quickly altered the business plan to fit the need and went forward.
"Today, we have grown beyond training into 'Agile' coaching, but again, that's another direction we hadn't planned on."
BrainTrust now employs two of the 136 certified Scrum trainers in the world, and offers a special training product, certified Scrum training, which he says is in huge demand.
Now the welcome challenge is finding balance in running a successful small business.
"Some days, I wonder how I can keep all these balls in the air," he said. "That is when I realize that I need others to help me, and I look to outsource yet another responsibility off my plate."
Building his team of eight has also alleviated the workload.
"By having a great team, we are better able to spread the load and to serve our clients," he said.
Today, Rabon himself does mostly two-day training sessions, "although I do find the time to coach occasionally," he said.
"In those classes, I feel I have the opportunity to briefly touch other's lives," he said. "When I see them open up to new possibilities and leave the class fired-up that they could make things better at their organization, I have a great day."
Alumni Support Higher Education
Announcing the New IEM Scholarship Fund
As a strong supporter of UAB and IEM, our alumni are excited about an opportunity to make a difference in the life of a future IEM graduate.
IEM has set up a gift account and plans to use this account to fund scholarships for prospective clients who do not receive educational assistance from their employer and would not be able to participate without financial assistance. Without scholarship donations, many clients cannot afford the good education that could provide them with tools they need to achieve the success they want. We hope that we will be able to raise enough money to be able to award our first scholarship for the Fall 2012 semester. We are asking all current alumni, their organizations, companies, friends and relatives to consider partnering with us by making a donation today to the IEM Scholarship Fund.
The School of Engineering and IEM is already selected and you can enter your credit card information and also designate if this is in honor or in memory of someone.
(be sure to designate Information Engineering and Management
on the donation so that it will be placed in the correct account).
UAB is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization
History of IEMGreat stuff coming soon! Check back often!
Alumni Missions Statement
Alumni Organization Mission Statement
The IEM Alumni Organization will cultivate relationships and establish long-term connections between IEM and its alumni; it will support IEM’s mission and goals and promote the alumni and their interests.
The IEM Alumni organization will work to accomplish the following goals:
- Promote awareness of IEM to potential clients, employers, and the community.
- Strengthen relationships and increase communication with alumni.
- Promote the IEM alumni.
- Give back to the community in ways that promote the core aspects of IEM: leadership, technology, education.