"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

--Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University Commencement, May 28, 1995

Monday, November 25, 2013

79. Brett Blumenthal

Boston (Cambridge), Massachusetts
· Architecture, Art, and Planning


Tell us about what you're doing with your life.
Professionally, I'm an author within the lifestyle design and wellness genre. My books have included best sellers 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You; A Whole New You: How to Ignite Change for Your Best Life; and Get Real and Stop Dieting. My next book is currently under negotiation and will likely be released in January of 2016.

Additionally, I'm an artist and focus on multimedia illustrations and watercolors. My work can be found at http://www.tinytoesdesign.com and Etsy.

Prior to my current careers in writing and art, I practiced architecture for over five years and was a management consultant for close to seven years. I also went back to Cornell to get my MBA.

My most recent "project" was giving birth to our beautiful son earlier this year, a project I'm most proud of!

What advice would you give to a student starting at Cornell this year?

While at Cornell, I struggled to find what it was I really wanted to do. It took me a long time to realize that I needed to be true to myself, my talents, and my passions. For years, I tried to fit into a typical corporate setting because I thought that was what I should do. I lived "unauthentically" to who I really was. As a result, the advice I'd give new students is to really explore all that Cornell has to offer and not get caught up in what they think they "should" take or "should" do.

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?

I discovered my passion for wellness by taking aerobics classes at Helen Newman Hall as a freshman. I absolutely adored one instructor and was inspired to become an instructor myself. Within a year, I was teaching classes at Helen Newman, too. My favorite class to teach was "Double Step" which was extremely popular among students, attracting upwards of 70 students per class. It was such a blast! All 70 of us in complete synch, dancing and exercising to some of the best music out there. It was a total rush!

If you could change anything about your Cornell experience, what would it be?

I started as an engineering student and transferred to architecture. I had a chance to go to Rome for a semester and I opted not to. If I had it all to do over again, I most certainly would have taken advantage of that opportunity. Travel is a very important part of my life and seeing the world is something I want to impart to my son. I'm sure, had I gone to Rome for a semester, I would have had amazing experiences that would have helped shape my life in a truly positive way.