Lancaster – Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington Graduate Brian Billingsley will be the first one to tell you that he often takes the road less traveled. Billingsley is currently the director of strategic business development for a company called Alliance Data Systems in Columbus. The job is not one he would have named when someone asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. But, it's the perfect fit for him now.
"Alliance Data Systems helps drive loyalty and marketing programs with a variety of tools including credit cards," said Billingsley. "I put together third-party partnerships. We recently announced a deal with PayPal."
Billingsley graduated from Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington in 2007 with a degree in Communication Studies. Billingsley was from the Pickerington area and started attending college in his early 20's. Billingsley thought the regional campus was a good fit for him. He took half of his classes in Lancaster and the other half in Pickerington.
"I was in a situation where I knew I was going to be working through school. I had heard positive things about the communication program," said Billingsley. "I found the quality of instructors to be pretty high."
Upon graduation, Billingsley found the connections faculty members had outside of the classroom to be very helpful as well.
"It was an interesting road," said Billingsley. "Dr. Candice Thomas-Maddox recommended me for my first job. That job led me to this one."
Communication Studies graduates from Ohio University Lancaster gain skills valued by employers including strong oral and written communication, effective group communication and conflict negotiation, relationship building, critical thinking, meeting planning, and problem-solving/decision-making. Students are prepared to work in a variety of career areas including training and development, public advocacy, sales, event planning, account representation, project management, human resources, and campaign development.
Billingsley uses his position at Alliance Data to help his community as well. He has become involved with initiatives to support non-profit organizations through the company.
"Alliance Data is a huge supporter of national and local charities.It is a big partner of the United Way," said Billingsley. "I've been involved in initiatives that drive donation of money, along with hands-on work."
Billingsley urges current students to be open to whatever options come their way. Billingsley is living proof that the road less traveled can be a great way to get where you are going because you end up exactly where you are supposed to be.