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Rob Ragan looks at more than just a college graduate’s GPA when he’s looking for a new employee. He looks at the prospect as a person.
“Nobody ever asked me what my GPA was (in a job interview),” the Project Manager for New South Construction told Daniel Butler’s Marketing 3310 classes Thursday. “I’m not saying that grades aren’t important. They are. They can open a door a little wider for you.”
Ragan, who offered advice for students during his presentation, said he was interested in more than grades.
“I like to get to know you,” he said. “I ask myself … do I like this person? Is he outgoing? You’ve got to have other skills (outside of academics). I graduated in marketing and now I’m in construction. You don’t know how the cookie is going to crumble.”
Ragan, who played football and majored in Marketing at West Georgia College, is part of a multi-million dollar company involved in a variety of building projects, including Coca-Cola and Turner Field in Atlanta.
Butler said Ragan “brought a real-world example of the marketing process in action.”
“He shared the marketing process used to capture a high-dollar project with the Coca-Cola Company,” he said. “Showing the general materials used, the cutting edge processes employed, and the true dollar cost of putting together a marketing plan was very valuable to our students. His presentation and knowledge sharing was not something that could be garnered out of a textbook. It was an exceptional presentation. His insight into how the construction industry uses marketing in segmentation, communication and delivery of value was eye-opening.”
Ragan said construction is more than architecture and building designs. It’s about having the right people on a team – a team that appeals to clients. Finding the right members for that team is vital.
“You need to be broad in your abilities and skills,” he told classes. “It’s about being well-rounded. Did you work in college? I think that is good. You did what it took to stick it out. A well-rounded person … I want that guy to run the company when I retire.” Ragan told students it was important to be happy in their careers and to put on a smile.
“I love my job,” he said. “I love to see the fruits of my labor. You’ve got to like your job, otherwise you’ll be miserable. Get up every day and decide that it’s going to be a good day. Greet people with a handshake and a smile. You will be a happy person and more people will want to be around you.”
Honesty is another trait Ragan urged students to possess.
“Always tell the truth, even when it hurts,” he said. “You don’t want people to think that you are a liar. And at the end of the day thank God for your blessings.”
Butler said Ragan’s presentation drew rave reviews from students.
“I have had many guest speakers over the years,” he said. “This is the first that elicited email notes to him immediately after his presentation thanking him for his ‘words of wisdom’ and ‘deeply held beliefs regarding success.’
“Mr. Ragan brought a fresh view of what it takes to be successful in today’s economy. He did it with humor, stories, and serious talk. Mr. Ragan’s thought that being well-rounded with varying interests and skill sets are very important. His idea that life is short was nothing new to our students. His follow up was that life is actually long, too. It is very long when you think about having to get up every morning for your entire life and go to work. I found it interesting that his views messed very well with the Auburn Creed. He not only cited a Google search for a definition of success. He added quotes from the New Testament in the Bible relating to what constitutes success.”