A people-pleasing personality and smooth charm not only helped Brandon Swift make his mark at Temple, but also earned him a spot on MTV’s “The Real World: St. Thomas.”
“Everybody looked at me as the dude that talked to everybody,” said Swift, who graduated from Temple’s Fox School of Business with a degree in business administration and legal studies last January.
Swift, 23, attended the casting call in Philadelphia last September to keep a friend company. Not stressed or seriously interested in being on the show, Swift completed every questionnaire and interview honestly, he said. The producers loved it.
“I’m a very blunt and real person,” Swift said. “I always speak what’s on my mind.”
That electric personality made breaking the news of his impending MTV stardom to his friends less than surprising.
“They were excited, but not shocked,” Swift said.
As for his mother’s reaction?
“My mom asked, ‘What’s ‘The Real World’?’” Swift recalled.
Swift said that before his days as a reality show cast member, his mom asked arguably more important questions regarding his college choice – and was impressed by the education that Temple’s Fox School of Business had to offer.
Furthermore, Swift’s upbringing in Edison, N.J. attracted him to the diversity of Temple.
“I grew up around a very diverse crowd. It really is a melting pot,” Swift said. “That’s why I loved growing up there, because once I got older I was able to mesh with a lot of different types of people.”
Although he didn’t truly explore it until later in his college career, Temple’s urban environment was also a benefit to Swift.
“I look at myself when I first came here: I lived at 1300 and thought J&H was a long walk, and that’s all I really knew about Philly,” Swift said. “[Exploring the city] really changed me in a positive way. I really grew.”
Having since blossomed from a sheltered freshman, Swift’s outgoing personality makes him a sensible choice as a Real World cast member. However, for being on a show that is no stranger to drama, Swift said he is against it.
“The longest relationship of my life was six months,” said Swift. “You know why? Because I don’t like drama.”
Still, Swift will admit that his personality is not one to stand on the sidelines.
“I’m not afraid to say what’s on everybody’s mind,” Swift said.
Swift hopes to gain something richer than drama out of his experience on the show.
“I really wanted to grow as a person and learn about a culture that I had never experienced before in my life,” Swift said.
Additionally, the businessman in Swift recognized the opportunity for exposure. Swift’s drive to achieve is something he attributes to his time at Temple.
“I’ve learned that being in an environment such as Philadelphia where people are driven and motivated inspires you to be hungry,” Swift said. “It inspires you to want to accomplish your goals because there is so much opportunity here.”
The 27th season of The Real World premieres tomorrow, June 27, at 10 p.m. on MTV.
Jenelle Janci can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.