Graduate Spotlight: Fred Odom

by Kylie Gibbs, marketing intern, Mike Cottrell College of Business

Last spring, our blog writers wrote a story on Fred Odom’s plans following graduation. Well, last week we followed up with now UNG grad Fred Odom to see how his career has been going.

fred-odum-sasName: Fred Odom

UNG Graduation Date: May 2015

Position Title: Associate Account Executive at SAS

What is your role? What do you do in your role? My job is to partner with General Motors to help them reach all of their business goals by providing and promoting SAS solutions that can be utilized in different areas of their business.

What is your favorite part of your job? My favorite part about my job is that no two days are the exact same. There is always something new and exciting going on in the world of analytics. It brings me a lot of joy getting to meet with clients and hear about how our solutions are helping to make them more successful in their jobs.

How did you get your position? When I first graduated, I joined a sales academy that was put on by SAS for recent college grads. This was a 6-month intensive training program designed to give us a base understanding of what we do at SAS and teach each person in the academy what it takes to be a successful Account Executive. After the six months, I was placed in the Automotive space on the team that sells to General Motors.

What was the interview process like? The interview process for the academy was to first have an on the phone role-play where you call into two accounts. One that is a cold call (no SAS footprint) and one that is a warm call (some SAS footprint). After that, the second round of interviews is an in person sales presentation at the corporate office where you run through your strategy for targeting one of the accounts they gave you.

How do you feel the Mike Cottrell College of Business prepared you for your career? Mostly from what I learned from the faculty. Whether it was Dr. Powell, Mr. Larson, Dr. Parker, Mrs. Crickey, Dr. Ngamsiriudom, and countless others, they pushed me in the ways that I needed to be pushed and took time out of their schedules to give me advice on how to excel after I graduated from UNG.

What are the 3 biggest things you have learned in the business world so far? It takes time to understand the business, build an internal network, and have a mentor.

What do you miss most about college? The community. It is so much different moving to a new state and not knowing many people and starting my career. College really is such a unique time to build relationships and push yourself in ways you never thought possible along with having peers that you see every day.

If you could go back and tell yourself anything in college, what would it be? Enjoy the moment and be present. By my senior year, I was so ready to graduate and get to the real world, but being in the working world now, I see that the real world isn’t based on a stage of life, but on the activities you involve yourself in at each stage of life.

What is the best advice you could give current college students? The best advice I can give to any college student is to get involved in many different organizations. It is in those organizations that you see the different talents that you have been blessed with shine through.

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