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Day in the life Brandon Fitzgerald

Brandon Fitzgerald

Associate general counsel and assistant secretary

UNCF

Washington, DC

 

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6:00 am

Wake up without an alarm and begin my morning meditation, then I review my daily affirmations. They include things for which I’m grateful; help me positively reframe events; and remind me to trust the process. I close by telling myself the same thing Olenna Tyrell told Daenerys Targaryen: “Be a dragon.”

6:20 am

I like to be creative with my coffee, so I experiment with different beans in my French press and add spices. Once my special blend is ready, I put the coffee in my kleen kanteen (have to save the environment) and check the bus schedule. Listen to some K-pop on my headphones and catch the bus to the metro.

6:50 am

I review my emails on the bus. First checking my personal email on SaneBox, an email management software, and then my work emails and the digests for the ACC Corporate & Securities Law, Nonprofit Organizations, and Small Law Department networks.

7:00 am

Arrive at the metro station. I check in on relatives (via cameras at their homes) to make sure that they are OK — I do this at least four times a day. I also log-in to Facebook to see what’s going on with my friends.

7:30 am

Getting off the metro, I head to the gym. I switch my music to deepinside.co.uk on SoundCloud because nothing is as good as House music for working out. I do some stretching and recovery work and check emails once on my smartwatch.

9:00 am

Once in the office, I have another coffee, eat breakfast, and review more emails. I quickly examine our trademark watch notices for any potential infringements. After scanning Twitter and BBC News, I look in on my relatives.

9:15 am

Sort tasks in Todoist by priority and decide which to tackle first. (Todoist is a productivity app and is an absolute game changer.) I dispense with the conventional wisdom of tackling the most difficult project first. I prefer to start with an easy win before hitting the most challenging task.

10:30 am

Conference call with a donor about tax issues and the appropriate structure of scholarship and internship programs. This is the earliest I’ll schedule conference calls if I can help it. It gives me time to get to the office, triage whatever is necessary, and prepare for the call.

11:00 am

Meet with the GC to discuss outstanding items, important projects, and critical issues.

11:30 am

Put on my noise-cancelling headphones and start reviewing contracts. We’re considering potential new IT vendors and deciding on entertainers for our largest fundraising event in Atlanta.

1:15 am

I put my Territory Foods meal on a plate, nuke it, and eat at my desk. Review our organization’s Twitter feed and retweet credible individuals talking about the FUTURE Act. This legislation will fund our member colleges and universities.

2:00 pm

Meet with the senior vice president of programs to discuss any large grant agreements and potential revenue-generating partnerships that align with our business.

2:30 pm

Touch base with the head of internal audit about any major outstanding compliance matters and the status of the 990 and the 990-T.

2:45 pm

Review the data from the most recent board survey and prepare a presentation on the results, which include the quality of our board’s culture and the impact the board has on organizational performance.

3:45 pm

Check in with the GC again and re-sort my task list in Todoist.

4:00 pm

The office usually quiets down at this time, so I can (finally) take off my headphones and tackle matters that need extended review time, like leases. UNCF has 23 offices across the country.

6:40 pm

Get on the metro to go home. Try to post something witty on Facebook.

8:00 pm

I have a glass of red wine with dinner and look in on my relatives. Turn on the Tennis Channel. If there are no good matches, I try to find replays of Champions League or Europa League soccer matches.

9:00 pm

Read work emails to see if the West Coast offices have any needs. Check in on my relatives.

9:30 pm

I send out invites to the soccer team I captain, remind folks to RSVP, or look for players to sub for the next game. Play the Star Wars Commander and the Star Wars Heroes video games.

11:00 pm

Final email check. Anything that needs doing gets put into a project in Todoist for tomorrow. Read some Marvel Unlimited or DC Universe comics before I drift off.