Justin Brach And His Time At TCNJ

If you’re looking for Justin Brach, you might be able to find him giving a tour of campus.  If he’s not sporting his stripes, try checking the Student Government office, or maybe his favorite sushi spot in Princeton.  No matter where he is, Justin is sure to greet you with a huge smile. 

Brach is a junior at TCNJ, double majoring in Finance and Political Science.  As a freshman, Brach hit the ground running and became a Senator for Student Government.  He then served as a Constitutional Review chair, and is now the Speaker of the General Assembly.  Brach was an Orientation Leader this year, is currently an Ambassador, and the member of three honors societies.  Brach has also worked as a camp counselor and Jet Ski instructor.  If those weren’t enough extracurricular activities, Brach has also interned at the Office of the Governor, and A.M Best Rating Services.

With all that to juggle, Brach says he manages his time by staying organized and maintaining a balance between his work and social life.  To de-stress, Brach either reads a book, or cooks dinner for his friends.  Despite his jam-packed schedule, Justin likes staying busy, and says all the hard work is worth it. 

VH: What’s been your most rewarding experience at TCNJ thus far, and what do you still hope to accomplish?

JB: So far, I feel like my most rewarding experience stems from being an Ambassador. Although I only started last year, I already feel the impact that I’m having while wearing stripes. Last semester, I gave a small tour to a family by describing my personal experiences and trying to share what campus life is like beyond the statistics you can find online. Despite my plethora of corny jokes, one of the boys ended up attending TCNJ. He actually found me this semester on campus and said that after going on my tour, he immediately knew that TCNJ was where he wanted to go to college. Having experiences like these, where I can see the tangible result of my tours, makes the job so worthwhile. I hate when Ambassadors are described as ‘the face of TCNJ’ because I think it really diminishes the role – ambassadors are tasked with creating an emotional connection between prospective students and their families and make our small campus feel like a home. I feel honored to wear my stripes and take pride in my work as an Ambassador in the Office of Admissions.

So what’s Justin’s next endeavor you ask? Studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany this spring.   

When asked why he wanted to study abroad, Justin replied, “For the many years I was a sleep away camp counselor, I was fortunate to have worked with people from all over the world. Whether they’re from New Zealand and Great Britain, after the camp season was over, many of them would travel around the United States and beyond before returning home. Seeing all of them post about their adventures on Facebook and Snapchat, I was always jealous because after the camp season was over for me, I would go straight back to school. When I came to TCNJ, I knew that I wanted to study abroad so I could finally have my first real adventure, while also keeping up with my coursework, of course. I can’t wait to travel around Europe – I know it’ll be one of the best experiences of my life.”

VH: What do you hope to learn when studying abroad?

JB: While in Europe, I tried to pick courses that I was both interested in and were meaningful to where I was located. I can’t think of many friends who have studied International Relations just a few miles from where the Berlin Wall fell, or examining the Human Refugee Crisis in a country that has been so willing to embrace a group of people fleeing from war-torn nations. I feel like this is the best way to bring many of my studies to life.  But along with work from TCNJ, I also can’t wait to learn about European Culture – I visited Europe when I was too young to understand what I was looking at. I’m incredibly excited to embrace a new culture and experience a change of pace from my life at TCNJ.

VH: What will you miss most about TCNJ?

JB: Honestly, it’s probably a cliché answer, but I’m going to really miss my friends at TCNJ. From my freshman floor mates to my current housemates, there are so many people I’ve met over the past three years that I’ll miss while I’m away. Beyond TCNJ, I’ll miss my family more than anything, especially my twin sister Jenna. While we both went to different schools, she goes to Virginia Tech, we still try to talk on a weekly basis, we call one another every Thursday afternoon.

After graduation, Brach hopes to work at a finance-related company for a few years, and ultimately attend law school.  “But for now, my main goal is to get a good nights sleep,” he joked.  After learning more about a day in the life of Justin, we can’t blame him!  While Brach’s presence on campus will certainly be missed, there is no doubt he’ll tackle studying abroad with the same passion and enthusiasm he’s displayed over the last two years at TCNJ.