Crystal Brooks

"If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well."

Supply Chain Management - Student

Like many students across Tennessee, Crystal Brooks sold candy bars in high school to help fundraise for her class. As a freshman embarking on a new challenge, she asked her father how to go about it.

“His response was to either give it my all or don’t do it at all,” Brooks says.

She took that advice to heart, breaking the school record for sales that year and besting her own record every subsequent year. She’s carried the philosophy with her ever since.

“I live my life by it,” Brooks says. “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.”

She graduated 11th in her high school class and went on to earn summa cum laude from Pellissippi State Community College before joining the Haslam College of Business. Brooks graduated this May with honors despite being a first generation college student, transfer student and a single mother.

Brooks held multiple jobs while pursuing her degree in order to support her family and says that she underestimated the challenges of balancing school, work and parenting.

“At one point, I worked four jobs at once while still a full-time student. I never slept,” she says. “I had to work those jobs to put food on the table, but I had to go to school to one day be qualified for a job that could replace the income of those four jobs.”

Despite her busy schedule, Brooks was involved in more than seven campus organizations including Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals and the Financial Management Society. Her commitment was rooted in an ambition to understand the full scope of business and a passion for the field.

“I wanted to quintuple major,” she says. “I’ve always loved business, every aspect of it. Because of my desire to learn about all business subjects, it was hard to settle on only one discipline.” 

She settled on a supply chain management major with a collateral in entrepreneurship. However, she will return to Haslam this fall to start her MBA, where she will put her father’s motto into action in the next phase of her life.