Cody Nelson '18

Cody NelsonMajor: Marketing
Hometown: Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Describe your current job role:

I am currently a Sales Marketing Coordinator (SMC) at CBS 12 News. This position requires me to work with the sales and marketing teams, which has a lot of responsibility. It is my job to assist the “sellers” with any help they need, including inputting contracts, checking order, updating rating cards for the station, and much more. The best way I can describe this role (without writing a story book) is to simply say, “I do everything” (and I mean this quite literally).

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

To be completely honest, I didn’t have any prior experience before I landed this role with CBS 12. I had never worked in a career role or done a professional internship beforehand. Originally, I was looking to do an internship with them, but they liked me a lot (and I say this in all humility). So much so, that they decided to interview me for the role of Sales Marketing Coordinator instead! It was a blessing, and a large door that God opened for me. It was a clear “it’s open, now walk into your opportunity” moment.

What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

I think the biggest thing for me is the reality of being in the kind of sales environment I’m in. You always hear that it gets hard and stressful in this kind of environment, but you can never truly understand what it feels like until you live through it. Sure, pretty much every job brings its own difficulties, but the business industry is full of type-A go-getters that will step all over you if they have to. Some days you really want to quit. Knowing about the kind of paycheck you can earn is great, but you don’t realize the kind of toll it takes to earn it until you have physically gone through the motions. Then, on top of this, you’re gone if you can’t consistently perform on a high level. It can be more unforgiving than you realize.

"God used PBA, with its student body and its leadership, to build me into the man I am."

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

God used PBA, with its student body and its leadership, to build me into the man I am. I don’t beat around the bush, and to tell you the truth, there’s not much I learned from the books that prepared me for the “real world”. It’s the people that picked me up when I was down, the advice I received from genuine individuals, and the immense amount of prayer I received that prepared me to grow into my own shoes. I learned the value of faith, and I had the greatest opportunity to spend time with Christ day-in and day-out so I could be where I am spiritually today. In a way, PBA prepared me to love on those who can be really difficult to love on at my job. PBA helped me through the most challenging times of my life up to this point, and I thank God that he led me to this institution.

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

If I had to give advice to some of the PBA students, I’d say this: work as hard as you can, and be willing to learn. Employers love young individuals who show a true interest in learning about the company they work for. Be attentive, ask questions, and “master your craft”. Also, pray about everything constantly. As I had said before each job can bring its own difficulties; it’s how you manage those difficulties that will make or break you. Don’t get down on yourself; roll with the punches and simply figure out a solution. There will be good days and bad, but allow your faith to oversee your failures. That will be the best way to stay mentally and emotionally strong, especially when work continues to pile on you.

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? If so, what impact has that had on you?

I have had the pleasure of being mentored by a couple of professionals within my organization. Two of the biggest individuals: my marketing consultant, Tom Cratty, and my sales manager, Josh Brown. Both have taken me under their wings to teach me all about the television industry. They’ve shared with me a lot of “do’s and don’ts” that have been really valuable. They’ve also shared with me areas in which they have failed, so I won’t have to feel the pain of making the same mistake. Overall, it’s had immense impact on my comfort level within the organization. Even though things get frustrating, their advice and leadership has already proven to elevate the way I handle my business.

Spotlight posted in September 2018. For current updates from Cody, visit his LinkedIn.