Brian Bolden

"Growing up outside of Atlanta, one would think I would have wanted to be a Georgia bulldog, but they’d be wrong"

Business Analytics & Statistics - Student

From beginning an internship immediately after high school to performing in the Pride of the Southland Band all four years to maintaining a competitive GPA as a business analytics major, Brian Bolden’s collegiate experience has been a crescendo of successes.

“Growing up outside of Atlanta, one would think I would have wanted to be a Georgia bulldog, but they’d be wrong,” Bolden says. “I was raised a Tennessee volunteer; you can thank my dad for that.”

Music has always been a large part of Bolden’s life. He began playing the saxophone in the fourth grade and was a member of the jazz band, concert band, marching band and indoor drumline during his musical life.

“It is very rare occurrence when there is no music playing in our home,” he says. “Everyone in my family is musically inclined.” In years past, it was either classical etudes on our piano from my brother, gospel songs sung by my father or my sister and I practicing for upcoming concerts and marching band competitions. My family believes that a passion for music breeds discipline and focus.”

Bolden’s family taught him a lot about music, but even more about the importance of attaining an education and staying true to your core values.

“After-school activities were not permitted until homework was done and upcoming tests were studied for,” Bolden says. “To be honest, I resented having to have such a strict regimen of studying, music and working toward the Eagle Scout rank at first, but my siblings and I realized that my parents were shaping us to become successful and dedicated professionals who appreciated the opportunities that we were afforded. I owe everything to them.”

Bolden, like many incoming college freshman, had no idea what he wanted to major in. With a dad and uncle to look up to as University of Tennessee engineering graduates, Bolden felt like he had big shoes to fill.

“I knew that UT was at the top of my list when looking at universities, but I was unsure about what I wanted to major in,” he says. “One day my dad showed me an article on big data and the new business analytics program at Haslam. It intrigued me, but at the time I had no idea what big data or business analytics were.”

Bolden has excelled in business analytics and is proving to be a rising star in the industry having completed internships at Hormel Foods, LeasePlan USA and Sensiotec, Inc.

“Business analytics is a perfect fit for me. I am a very analytical thinker and statistics comes easy to me,” Bolden says. “Using data to tell a story is very difficult, but it is where businesses are headed, and I want to have the knowledge on hand to be ahead of that trend. My time in Haslam has certainly helped with that.”

After graduation Bolden hopes to work for either Porsche’s Experience Center or Mercedes-Benz’s Corporate Headquarters: an ambition stemming from his love for cars. As for his ultimate goal? 

“My dream is to start my own big data consulting firm,” he says.

Something tells us accomplishing this goal is not far from Bolden’s reach.