Creating Something New at Chick-fil-A
When senior marketing major, Deborah Dixon, began her new job as events coordinator at Chick-fil-A, she never thought she’d become a “cow handler.” This semester, Deborah has had the opportunity to create a new position at Chick-fil-A, as well as learn how to handle several of Chick-fil-A’s favorite mascots—the cows.
Last fall, Deborah was just hanging out in the business department between classes when MNU business professor, Mike Gough, approached her about an opportunity with Chick-fil-A. Jeff Rouse (‘90), owner of the Olathe Chick-fil-A restaurant, was looking to hire someone for an office manager position.
“Prof. Gough told me that he immediately thought of me,” said Deborah.
After talking to Gough, Deborah immediately emailed Rouse with her resume and some brief information about herself. A return email from Rouse said that the office manager position was already filled, but that he had a different position for which he would like to interview her.
“They couldn’t really tell me much about the position, since they had just created it,” Deborah commented. “I could tell they had really great ideas for the position, so I was really excited about it.”
A few days after the interview, Deborah got a phone call and was officially hired as the new Chick-fil-A event coordinator. She will work part-time throughout the spring semester and then continue full-time after graduation.
“I know that this position will strengthen my leadership skills, especially since I will have to manage different people for different events,” said Deborah. “I also think my communication skills will grow.
Now that she’s well into the job, Deborah says her favorite event has been the MNU/Baker basketball halftime show. During this halftime show, four of the Chick-fil-A cow mascots performed a dance to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”
“I’m passionate about sports, so I was thrilled to create an environment where people could enjoy the [Chick-fil-A] event while also enjoying a basketball game,” said Deborah. “I love that Chick-fil-A sponsors MNU athletics, so it’s amazing to combine my job and my passion.”
Deborah says she enjoys being a “cow handler.”
“I got to choreograph the dance that the mascots did and then coordinate two weeks of dance practice,” Deborah said. “We had two Chick-fil-A employees and two MNU students performing in the cow costumes, so it was funny watching them learn how to dance with the costumes on.”
Deborah credits her newfound success to the MNU business professors.
“I wouldn’t have gotten the job without the professors here. Mike Gough told me about the job and then Lisa Wallentine helped me prepare me for the interview,” she said. “They [the professors] expect a lot out of me, so they helped instill a better work ethic, as well as teaching me how to create a good network and be personable.”
Since this is a brand new position, it will take time to develop everything the job requires, so Deborah is glad that she is at a point in her life where she can be flexible and work as much as needed.
“Chick-fil-A is a great place to work,” said Deborah. “I’m really excited to see what the future will hold.”