Name: Dan Coday
Graduation Year: 1993
Major: Business Administration
Current Position: VP, Enterprise Sales – Marketing Automation Software
City and State: Branson West, MO
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
Shortly after graduation, I began working in new business development for a mechanical equipment company based in Oklahoma City. This was all thanks to a great friend I met at Evangel whose father owned the company. There was a significant amount of international travel involved as I eventually led the company’s international expansion efforts. It was an enjoyable seven years working with multiple talented friends from Evangel in a rapidly growing mid-sized company that gave us a high level of responsibility and opportunities in our early careers.
In 2001, I moved to Dallas and became a product manager in the marketing department for Verizon and was responsible for developing new advertising products for Superpages.com. In 2004, I joined a start-up digital sales department within Verizon and was responsible for building and leading sales teams selling digital marketing solutions to small businesses across the US. It was a blessing to work for and with an all-star team that grew the department from concept to $150 million in revenue within the first four years.
In 2011, I returned to the mechanical equipment company in Oklahoma City leading business development in emerging markets for five years. In 2016, I joined several former Verizon colleagues at a marketing automation software company based in Ft. Worth, TX. I lead a national emerging markets enterprise sales team from my office in Branson West, MO.
What is your favorite memory from Evangel?
There are so many fond memories of Evangel, but my favorite memories are centered around the people.
I was more motivated to start making money than on getting good grades. Looking back, I have a great appreciation for how patient the faculty and staff were with me and didn’t realize at the time just how much they were helping me.
The friends I made, and have kept the past 25 years, is my absolute favorite memory. I remember meeting people while working at the student union or studying at the library. I enjoyed getting a date and dressing up for Spring Fling or Banquet. Friends would take weekend day trips to Lake of the Ozarks or Branson, concerts, ball games, and Battlefield Mall. No matter what we were doing we laughed a lot. I met most of my best friends in life at Evangel and they have positively impacted my life so much through the years.
How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?
The quality of professors, staff and chapel speakers was really motivating to me. There were numerous examples of successful men and women in business that held firm to traditional moral values, were generous in their communities, and experienced great success because of those values. Those models combined with a truly loving developmental environment gave me the desire to follow their lead.
How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?
The best experience Evangel gave to prepare me for life after graduation was to reinforce my faith in Christ and a rock-solid network of people who care about me. It’s about quality, not quantity. From this network I’ve received employment, business and life mentoring, life-long friendship, counseling, business contacts, assistance at various points in my career, and much more.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
All good things flow out of relationships, so invest in relationships! Develop and invest in your network with friends, faculty, and staff. You can’t do life after college alone. You need other people, so start helping other people however you can right now. Make it where every time you have an interaction with someone they leave thinking it was a great interaction. Put relationship coins in the bank. Stop and think about even the smallest things others have done or are doing for you and show sincere appreciation. Do something for someone that they couldn’t do without your help. Be a great friend. Who you know is more important than what you know. The law of planting relationship seeds and harvesting much more than what you planted is just as real as the law of gravity. It works. Do it. Do it now. Don’t look back.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
Graduating from college is showing an employer that you can pass a test, that you’ve invested in yourself and have a certain baseline of knowledge to be a professional. It’s a prerequisite for most of corporate America. I’ve worked in corporate marketing for a big boss that had his degree in history, so don’t get too worked up if you decide to change careers later. The main thing is that you got your degree. The better your GPA, the more opportunities you’ll have. Unfortunately, a degree alone, regardless of GPA, is not enough to impress and land dream jobs. There are a lot of people with a degree out there.
Over the years I’ve hired hundreds of people, many of which were recent college graduates. I want someone that is honorable, hungry, has a strong work ethic and remains positive when faced with adversity. How can you demonstrate that you are an honorable person? How can you demonstrate that you’re hungry and have the will to succeed? How can you demonstrate that you have a strong work ethic and know how to work at a job in addition to work on making good grades? How can you demonstrate that you consistently remain positive when things get tough? Convince me of those things and we’ll have something to talk about.