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Five Minutes With . . .

In "Five Minutes With...," we look to both members and friends to sit down for a brief conversation about their experiences, the lessons they've learned, and any advice they might have for our readers. Through these conversations, we hope that readers can learn a little more about leaders and friends of the fraternity while also receiving some advice about leadership, fraternity and more.

Bradley Charlesworth, Theta Alpha (Southern Miss.)

Written by
Charlesworth with his fiance, Kimberly. Charlesworth with his fiance, Kimberly.

Bradley Charlesworth, a young alumnus from Theta Alpha (Southern Miss.), was a staff member at Pi Kappa Phi from 2008 to 2012, where he served as a leadership consultant for one year before moving on to a position in expansion. From there, Bradley went on to serve the Fraternity as its very first coordinator of new media and public relations, helping catapult Pi Kappa Phi's online presence to new heights.

Currently, Bradley works in alumni relations at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he also serves as a chapter advisor for the Loyola New Orleans Associate Chapter.

If you could start college again tomorrow, what would you do differently? Why?

Honestly, nothing. From day one I experienced lifelong brotherhood through Pi Kappa Phi, I was encouraged by friends to push myself as a leader, I cheered on the Golden Eagles at stadiums across the country, I learned skills I needed to begin my career and I met my soon-to-be wife. College treated me well and a lot of that is due to Pi Kappa Phi.

What have been your two or three most important/meaningful Pi Kappa Phi experiences?

As an undergraduate, my most meaningful experience with the fraternity was leading our recruitment efforts as Vice Archon the summer before my junior year. I spent the summer traveling Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana with chapter brothers to meet potential members and spend time with guys that would become our brothers. We hung out on the beach on the Gulf Coast, took in a minor league baseball game in Mississippi, floated the Bogue Chitto River and hit the town in New Orleans. We treated recruitment like a full time job and ended up signing the largest class on campus and a group of men that would do big things for Pi Kappa Phi.

As an alumnus, I was lucky enough to take a few weeks off of work and take part in Push America's Gear Up Florida as a cyclist. Spending two weeks with brothers from across the country was a blast, but hopping off our bikes after 80 miles of cycling to have a footrace with some Special Olympians in Orlando made for the most rewarding experience of my life. We raised thousands of dollars for a worthy cause, we pushed ourselves on the bike, we bonded with new brothers and we had our views of abilities of people with disabilities totally altered. It was incredible.

Since you joined Pi Kappa Phi, there has been a major focus on leadership, both through the Fraternity and Push America. Can you explain what you've recently learned about leadership in your own life?

I recently read a book by Rory Vaden called Take the Stairs and really loved what Vaden calls the Rent Axiom: "Success is never owned; it is only rented – and the rent is due every day." I think that simple lesson can apply to everything. At work, in your relationships, in athletic endeavors you must work to pay that rent again every day in order to continue to grow and succeed. A good leader is willing to put in that work every day in areas that are important to him.

What qualities do you look for in the people with whom you surround yourself, personally or professionally?

I enjoy spending time with people who jump in head first to the world around them. Get involved in your community, work hard at the office, and find time for fun every day.

Although you graduated in the not-so-distant past, there have undoubtedly been changes in the undergraduate experience. What's one piece of advice you'd give to young alumni or undergraduates nearing graduation that is applicable regardless of those changes?

As the chapter adviser for the Loyola New Orleans Associate Chapter, I have a simple thought I share with guys: make college as difficult as possible. Pile on as many internships, leadership opportunities, road trips, semesters abroad, fraternity conferences and jobs as you can handle. Yes, it will be stressful, but it will also be rewarding. Yes, you'll experience failure occasionally, but you will learn from it. Have fun, challenge yourself and walk across that stage at graduation with confidence in your abilities.

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