Meet Michelle Brachman

Michelle loves to read. In fact, she formed her own book club for that very reason. “I started it two years ago with a couple of girlfriends as a way to share good books, but it’s also a great way to just hang out with friends.” Like most things, it’s been more challenging in 2020, though Zoom has helped keep everyone connected.

Readings, happy and sad

Asked about her favourite reads, Michelle pauses, “That’s hard because I read everything. One book I really liked was Solve for Happy, by Mo Gawdat. He took an engineering perspective on how to be happy.” She’s also a big fan of historical fiction. “It gives me a chance to learn about famous characters.” Sunflowers by Sheramy Bundrick comes to mind for Michelle. “It was a novel about Van Gogh and his mistress, and it covered the struggles they both faced.”

The psychologist within

It’s no coincidence that some of Michelle’s book choices have psychological themes. She has a keen interest in the subject. “I’ve always been fascinated by culture, society, and people’s experiences,” she says. Her studies took her through sociology and education, but she eventually gravitated to recruitment after graduation. Her interest in psychology led her to become a volunteer crisis responder with Kids Help Phone, which provides 24/7 youth support services. She goes on to say, “I also find that psychology is a big part of my job in executive search because so much of it is about understanding others’ perspectives and being empathetic and caring.”

Clean and tidy

Michelle admits she’s a bit of a clean freak, with her weapon of choice being the trusty vacuum cleaner. She’s also watched tidiness icon Marie Kondo and taken some tips on clearing out those things that ‘don’t spark joy.’ “She certainly resonates with me,” admits Michelle. “I like the whole idea of simplifying your life by keeping what’s important and getting rid of the rest.”

Mind and body

Yoga and meditation have become part of her daily routine. “I get up early and try to fit it in first thing. It’s just a great way to get your head in the right place and I feel like it makes me better at my job—especially when it comes to interacting with others.” And if she had more time on her hands, she would try to get a bit more active. She mentions tennis and biking and then adds, “But I should probably improve my cooking first.”

Ah, to travel again

For those that love travel, it has been a tough go through COVID. But Michelle has fond memories of visiting Chicago before the shutdown. “I got to see the Cubs play at Wrigley Field and try the famous deep-dish pizza. I’m not a huge baseball fan but that experience was on my bucket list.” In hopes that the world opens up again soon, Michelle looks forward to visiting Turkey and Greece at some point, and maybe southern Italy. And then, perhaps the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.

Recruiting at Farber

“I find the culture at B. Riley Farber collaborative,” says Michelle. “In executive recruitment, we huddle often as a group and work on searches together. Management is really supportive, and HR also reaches out to me regularly.” She particularly likes the “neighbourhood” feel and the opportunity to get to know everyone at the firm.

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