Scholar Spotlight: Brandon Clarke

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (June 25, 2024)—Brandon Clarke was initially unsure about caddieing but grew to love the job at Century Country Club in Purchase, N.Y., during high school and college. He’s now a doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina.

“I asked [my friend] about [caddieing], and he told me it was a good job for students and kids in the summer,” recalled Clarke. Clarke was a four-year caddie scholar from Century while attending the University at Buffalo.

Clarke has always been interested in the sciences. He majored in pharmacology at the University at Buffalo and graduated in 2020 before attending the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is now in his second year of a five-year doctoral program at UNC, focusing on pharmacology. Pharmacology studies drug interactions, how drugs affect the human body, and the testing of different compounds.

“I grew up with physiology, and I grew interested in how we can manipulate certain things in our bodies with these outside drugs or compounds we make,” added Clarke. “I guess you could say that is how I grew interested in [science]. And observing what people go through daily with different diseases and conditions.”

While caddieing at Century, Clarke remembers getting contact information for one doctor he carried the bag for. Clarke also picked the doctor’s brain about whether he preferred medical school or going into research.

Clarke gained the most from that type of connection and conversation during his summers at Century. Talking to many different people throughout the rounds gave him great advice, ranging from determination to navigating life as an adult.

“It took a bit of time for me to realize the opportunity I had while working there,” Clarke said. “As you get older, you’re like, okay, it would be good to maximize what I can do.”

The opportunity afforded him became more apparent when he saw NBA Commissioner Adam Silver at the club one day.

“I was like, wait a minute. There are a lot of professional and special people here at the club. During my second and third years there, I started to pick people’s brains more.”

After he graduates from UNC, Clarke hopes to work for a major pharmaceutical company, such as Pfizer or Merck. His long-term goal is to start his own drug company.

“It’s a great opportunity to make money and form valuable connections that you can keep as you move throughout life and get older. And it’s really an opportunity to just pick people’s brains as much as you can from various professionals, whether it be business people, doctors, etc,” he said.