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EU Alumni Perspective: Adam Ragsdale

Name: Adam Ragsdale

Graduation Year: 2019

Major: Computer Science

Current Position: Product Manager (Tech)

City and State: Oklahoma City, OK

 

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

Ever since graduating Evangel, my career path has felt all over the place, but very much divinely orchestrated. Right before I graduated in 2019, I started working as a Product Owner for a tech company in Oklahoma City, OK. I was then recruited to a marketing agency, Saxum, where I oversaw website projects and development as an Interactive Project Coordinator. My dad and I were then able to solidify funding in 2021 for a tech startup he had pulled me into back in 2017, while I was still in school.

Part of our deal with our angel investors was for me to join full time, where I then hired and oversaw our software engineering, marketing, and product design teams. While we were able to successfully build and launch our mobile app, The Voca App, our go-to-market didn’t break through like we’d hoped, causing our runway to dissipate near the end of 2022. After several months of job-searching (and a little bit of soul-searching), Flogistix reached out to me about applying for their Product Owner position. I didn’t have any knowledge of tech within the Oil, Gas, and Energy industry, but I felt God was opening a door, so I took it.

After about four months, I was promoted to Product Manager over our two flagship products, Flux and Flux Mobile – a SCADA system which pulls data from and operates as a diagnostics tool for Vapor Recovery Units (customized units which help our customers with product optimization, increasing upstream/midstream efficiency, and atmospheric solutions, capturing carbon emissions and decreasing our customers’ carbon footprint). My position requires that I am in the weeds in product design, coordinating and tasking our software engineering teams in product development, and communicating with our stakeholders and users who our products directly affect. I’ve also had the privilege of getting involved creatively at Flogistix, creating videos for marketing, establishing new brand and product design standards, and leading new creative initiatives under my wonderful management, who bless me with so many opportunities to do what I am passionate about.

 

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

This is too hard! I have an abundance of fond memories from Evangel. Other than incessant late-night conversations or film nights with my roommate, suitemates, and guys on my floor, I’d have to say one of my favorite memories was taking a random drive with friends one night, where we ended up arriving in Arkansas at about midnight (unexpectedly). We continued driving, grabbing breakfast at a gas station, and arriving back at campus at around 5am. 

While that could seem reckless, I found that it was these types of situations where you develop the closest friendships, find yourself closer to God after in-depth conversation about life, and truly feel like an adventurer seeking the most out of life. These things happened all the time at Evangel because the community there was, and still is, so life-giving.

 

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

I wouldn’t be who I am without the impact Evangel had on my life. While yes, academically, I was able to find what I was passionate about in the tech space, the creativity that the community of students at Evangel had was unbelievable. You could definitely tell God was working in their lives. Whether it was music, acting, writing, or technology, the excellence in quality around me was truly inspiring. It helped me strive to be better in everything I was doing. My favorite part about it was the drive for adventure that everyone had. I still feel the ripple effect of excitement in chasing God-sized dreams due to the influence Evangel had on me.

I didn’t know exactly what my calling was when I left Evangel, but I knew God was heavily working and defining the gifts He had equipped me, and that was enough. I learned that God calls all of us in unique ways, and mine was vocationally through creative and tech.

I also know the term deconstruction can be deemed negative, but it was my time at Evangel where I decided to figure out what I truly believed, instead of naively accepting what I’d been taught growing up. My professors, my friends, and my leaders led me to understand God on a level I’d never encountered. It was like God actually wanted me to ask Him more difficult questions, just so I could more deeply understand His heart.

 

How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?

It was definitely challenging to go from having a community like the one at Evangel to having a 40-hour work week and only seeing a few friends. However, Evangel prepared me to a) never take the small things for granted, b) always pursue adventure, and c) stay close to Godly community. The community I’ve been blessed with since graduating has continued to push me in my quality of living. I also feel like my adventure is just beginning, and I owe how far I’ve come to my growth while at Evangel.

 

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

  1. Truly commit everything you do to God and watch Him take you on adventures you couldn’t even imagine. Trust His process.
  2. Don’t forget that the same God who split the Red Sea, silenced the lions around Daniel, and brought the dead to life is the same God who we have a relationship with today. He can still do these God-sized wonders in your life. Try not to think too small. Don’t put God in a box!
  3. Understand the Aggregation of Marginal Gains – the concept that every small step you take is a micro-investment into where you’re going. Dreams, passions, and goals take time, and that’s okay. God is in the day-to-day just as much as He is in the big picture. Also, don’t miss out on the journey. These are where your most cherishable memories are created.
  4. Lastly, good community is harder to find when everyone your age is now a part of the 9am-5pm work schedule. However, it is still your job to find a Godly community who is going to push you, excite you, and do life with you. This is so incredibly necessary.

 

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?

    1. Eagerness to learn. Experience doesn’t matter much to me if I know you’re going to take initiative and strive to continually perfect your craft.
    2. Collaborative. If you’re not a team player, that drastically affects work culture, which is so important.
    3. Communicative. Your ability to communicate and articulate clearly addresses a handful of root problems that negative cultures tend to have.
    4. Creative. While, yes, I’m involved in a world where you almost have to be creative, creativity comes in many forms. I’ve found it is the creative individuals who understand the necessity of storytelling in everything. They’re the ones who are innovative, passionate, and resourceful. Don’t be a creative who only dreams, but doesn’t know how nor tries to execute, though.
    5. Organized. This may sound funny, but it’s incredibly hard to scale teams, collaboration, and innovation without a foundation of organizational skills. This will make everyone on your teams’ lives better. Also, I’ve found that creatives tend to have a more challenging time being organized. Finding the perfect balance of creativity and organization makes for one incredible teammate.
    6. Lastly, fun. This is obviously different per area of business you go into, but some people just take work too seriously, negating fun in the workspace. Good work cultures are built on excitement, adventure, creativity, and collaboration. Fun has to be at the center of your culture, or your day-to-day will get draining fast. Also, if you’re able to be efficient and have fun, that’s the best type of team you want to be a part of.