Soaring Beyond: Cody West

MEET CODY! He graduated in 2016 with his degree in Integrative Studies in Business, Journalism, and Sociology. He is currently working as a Senior Proposal Coordinator at Saulsbury Industries.  

We asked Cody some questions, advice for current students, and how UNT helped him to succeed and SOAR BEYOND!

When you started at UNT, what were your plans after graduation? How have these plans changed? I knew that I wanted to get into a business development role, but wasn’t sure what industry it would be in. I found my way into doing sales for a smaller chemical company for about two years, and while I enjoyed it, I was required to travel out of state about three weeks per month and was wanting to get into a more steady routine. The role I am currently in is not sales, but with more time and experience in the industry, I intend to get back into it.   

What advice do you have for prospective or current students as they decide what they want their next steps to be? First and foremost, take advantage of the free resources the university has to offer. The career center is very beneficial to anyone in this position, and a quick conversation with an advisor can really help you narrow down your search. Attend job fairs, dress well, and be prepared. Next, get involved, network, and build relationships as much as you possibly can. In my experience, this is just as important of a task as anything else. Every single internship/post-graduation position I’ve gotten has been because of my personal network. Join a club that interests you, play intramurals, greek life, etc. You never know where a simple conversation can end up taking you.  

How did your program at UNT help you to feel prepared for this role? I think the broad array of concentrations I took in my major really helped me in the professional setting. All three can be applied to almost every aspect of my day to day activities, and really helped in preparing me for the next step in my life.  

How did you find your current role? I made a post on LinkedIn that I was ready to make a change in my career and was open to new opportunities. Two days later, a friend of mine gave me a call and set me up with an interview, and I was fortunate enough to eventually be offered the position.  

What was the toughest interview question they asked you?  “Tell me about a time you were able to overcome an obstacle in a previous job.” When you don’t have a ton of experience in the first place, it’s not easy to come up with a scenario like this on the spot. Fortunately, I was able to think back to the time when I sold cars as a sophomore, and ran out of gas with a customer on my first test drive ever, and still managed to make a sale with them a few weeks later. Not my proudest moment, but a true story. 

How did the Career Center help you? The biggest takeaway I personally gained from the career center was the mock interviews. Just like anything else, the amount of practice and preparation you have put into the interview process will directly correlate to your confidence levels. Take advantage of these sessions and give yourself the best possible chance when the time comes. 

 Would you like to be featured in our Soaring Beyond Success Series? Email Jeanette Hickl. We’d love to share your story!

By Jeanette Hickl
Jeanette Hickl