Rediscovering Tucson, with an Entrepreneurial Spirit
Brendan Snyder, Eller Economics ’10
Financial Consultant, AXA Advisors
By Liz Warren-Pederson
Growing up, Brendan Snyder said that he was – and still is – a huge science guy. “I came to the UA as pre-med and planned to be a doctor,” he said. “I was in an elite biomedical chemistry class with five students and the dean of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, we would just sit around and talk bio chem.” He was invited to dinner with the dean and his wife, and they talked about his life as a doctor.
“I realized that it wasn’t the lifestyle I wanted for myself,” he said.
The next day, Snyder met with Sarah Diaz in the Eller undergraduate program. “She suggested that I take a look at economics, which is basically the science of business,” he said. “I didn’t look back.”
His senior year, Snyder lined up a position with AXA Advisors. “We have a mentorship program that I was a part of, which was really helpful,” he said. Now he is a mentor himself. About a year ago, he transferred to Tucson. “We didn’t have the mentorship program here, so now I’m a part of that,” he said. “I’m focused on building up the branch here.” It’s a role that he’s tackled with entrepreneurial spirit. “My experience with AXA is that any door is open for you within the company.” Over the next five years, he said that he aims to recruit more talented people and build an elite firm in Tucson.
As he continues to grow in his career, Snyder said, “What I’ve realized is that it’s stopped mattering ‘what’ I was going to do after college. What matters is the ‘how.’ This job allows me the freedom to do what is important to me.”
Snyder coached lacrosse in Phoenix for three years, and recently began volunteering for the same in Tucson. “I also love to travel and have been all around the U.S.,” he said. “Next year I’m getting married and plan to travel outside the U.S. This job has given me the freedom to do a lot at a young age.”
He said he’s glad to be back in Tucson. “It’s not just a business opportunity to move to Tucson – I love it. It’s great to be back in Wildcat country, and four years around a bunch of Sun Devils was killing me!” he added with a laugh.
Top photo of Panorama of Redington Pass near Tucson, Arizona, courtesy Shutterstock.