Cindy (Paul) Cody ’84 understands the risk-reward calculation of celebrity endorsements and business sponsorships in a world consumed with media channels. She is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Global Marketing at Octagon, the world’s largest sports and entertainment agency.
The company is part of the Interpublic Group of companies (IPG), a broad-based marketing solutions organization with clients worldwide. Cody has worked within IPG for more than 20 years.
“Integrity is critical to your personal brand and at the end of the day, that’s all you’ve got."
As Cody has progressed to increasingly senior positions, one early piece of advice she received rings true. “Let the small stuff go,” she recalls a mentor advising. Cody realized though there were many things she could do well, they no longer made a significant difference. She learned to focus her attention on new priorities where her efforts would have greater impact.
For Cody, who majored in Accounting while at Bryant, the essential ingredient for success is integrity. “Integrity is critical to your personal brand and at the end of the day, that’s all you’ve got,” she explains. “It’s all about trust. We all encounter people again and again in business situations, so integrity and trust are vitally important.”
Cody’s advice to graduates entering the workforce reflects her conviction that learning never stops. “Congratulations on completing college, but it’s just the beginning of your learning. You’re not done,” she says. “Don’t get comfortable. Use a different part of your brain,” she counsels. “You might have been an amazing student, but you have a whole lot more to learn. Learn something different – not just more about what you already know how to do really well.”
In new hires, Cody looks for a combination of professional skills and personal values. “For entry-level candidates, your professional skills are the base level – that’s what gets you the job. However, your personal values and attributes – drive and integrity, for example –will drive your success. You need both – and a sense of humor never hurts.”