Name: Lyndsey (Roggow) Demmel
Graduation Year: 2003
Major: Business Management
Current Position: Existing Restaurants Real Estate Manager, Chick-fil-A, Inc.
City and State: Atlanta, GA
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
After graduating from Evangel, I attended law school and began my career negotiating leases in the real estate department at the Sprint corporate headquarters in Kansas City. I was hooked on real estate immediately. It gave me a perfect platform to incorporate my business degree from Evangel with my J.D.
I have been fortunate to work in real estate for many large companies, including Burger King and Qdoba/Jack-In-The-Box. I recently accepted my current position at Chick-fil-A, Inc. where I support Chick-fil-A restaurants and operators throughout the Midwest and Southwest. I support them in lease/land renewals, acquisitions, remodels and other special projects that help our operators continue the positive impact they are making in their local communities.
What is your favorite memory from Evangel?
There are so many! I loved being an RA in Burgess (B4N!) and being a part of the random dorm fun that was always going on. I’ll never forget the huge snowball fight that erupted during finals my freshman year, running for the doors EVERY Saturday night so as not to miss curfew, and making amazing friends from all over. The year I spent as a member of Frontline was a fantastic experience that always makes me smile when I think about it – as do the memories of football games, homecoming, spring fling, and on and on.
How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?
I selected Business as a major because it was the shortest line on registration day (true story). I was fortunate that it was a great fit for me. I quickly learned that the business professors were people I wanted to be like, and many – especially Becky Rhodes, Bernie Dana and Elizabeth Fletcher – pushed me and shaped the way I thought about business and real-world issues. My time in the Business department instilled in me a passion for doing business the right way and a firm belief that business is about much more than the bottom line. It’s about people. I try to spend my working days doing something meaningful and making a positive impact on the world around me; not just chasing after the bottom line. It’s a big reason why I accepted my current position at Chick-fil-A, a company that exemplifies making a positive impact.
How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?
Being a part of the Evangel community and building lasting relationships while I was there helped prepare me for marriage and children, as well as a career. Whether at home or work, my days are filled with collaboration, teamwork, tough conversations and negotiation…all of which are better when they are built on relationships and community. Relationships and community have gotten me through some of my darkest personal and professional times and looking back, I can see that Evangel was where I learned those lessons first.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
My best advice would be to do your best academically and be proactive to find experiences that will help you discover your passions and become well-rounded. Grades are important, but so are experiences. Utilize your Evangel professors, EU alumni or other contacts you may have to help you gain unique experiences, internships or coursework that will challenge you and prepare you for the workforce, as well as give you some experience in an area you might not otherwise pursue. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, take risks, make a big move, or do something new. Don’t assume that you’ll find your dream job right away, but plan to build on each new experience you gain along the way. You never know, the job you’ve always wanted could be something you’ve never thought of before.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
The top things I would look for are enthusiasm, the ability to bring creativity and unique perspective to the role, and a background in the functional work through coursework and/or internships. Strong communication skills – written and in person – are a must. A positive, open and learning attitude would let me know the new graduate is ready to jump in, contribute and become a meaningful part of the team.