Cody Wingfield ’23

April 1, 2024

Cody Wingfield’s path to completing a Master of Business Administration at The University of Texas at Tyler took several turns.

Cody WingfieldAfter graduating high school, he started his higher education journey at Kilgore College. But, feeling unfocused at the time, he opted to join the U.S. Navy, where he embarked on a career as an operations specialist and spent time in communities around the Mediterranean Sea.

Upon returning home, he decided to continue his education at The University of Texas at Tyler, selecting the campus to be closer to his family and for the quality of the programs offered. At UT Tyler, he completed a bachelor’s in communications, choosing the program for its flexibility and broad spectrum of potential career paths — from public relations to public health.

From here, he entered UT Tyler’s MBA program to grow his leadership and business skills as he started a career in the finance industry and ended up meeting his now-wife in an economics class.

Do you have a favorite memory on campus so far?

Meeting my wife for the first time in class and later proposing to her on the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy balcony. My wife and I have been on campus for many years, and during that time, we have made a lot of memories. We hammock, play board games like Rummikub and Bananagrams, walk, ride bikes, play racquetball at the Herrington Patriot Center and use the pool/hot tub. The university is a few minutes from our residence, and it offers so many opportunities to be active and enjoy campus.

What drew you to UT Tyler?

I grew up in Kilgore, Texas. I attended Kilgore High School and Kilgore College. I had trouble at Kilgore College. I was not motivated, and I lacked the discipline I needed to succeed in my classes. I joined the U.S. Navy and began my career as an operations specialist. During that time, I got to see a lot of cool places. I was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea on a destroyer, and I visited amazing countries like Greece, Croatia and Israel. After finishing my career in the Navy, I wanted to be closer to home and, to family. I chose UT Tyler because I love the city of Tyler. I had also heard of the stellar programs that UT Tyler had to offer. It was the perfect fit for me, and it was the right choice.

Has anything been unique about your experience so far, including inside and outside of the classroom?

Both of my economics courses were taught by Professor Susan Doty. Her class was challenging, and the assignments were very unique. I was impressed by the curriculum and the engagement of the students on each project. I may be a little biased because I met my now-wife in that class. We worked on the same project, and together, we created a memorable Lego video detailing an economics scenario. We still look back on it fondly and even showed it at our wedding.

The material I learned in Professor Doty’s courses is very relevant today, and it speaks to the caliber of professors at UT Tyler. I learned of the U.S. Federal Reserve and how the decisions they make reverberate through everyday life. This and many other elements from class helped me when studying finance and working in the finance industry.

UT Tyler emphasizes career preparation and hands-on learning. What types of opportunities have you participated in (internships, research or travel study, for example), and what have you learned?

The career counselors at UT Tyler have been phenomenal. My career counselor for the MBA program helped me every step of the way and provided great advice for completing the curriculum according to my schedule. She was always my go-to for any questions concerning my degree plan, and she was accessible and proactive with any issues.

Have you been involved in any campus organizations or activities?

For a time, I was part of the Student Veterans Association, which is a part of the Military and Veterans Success Center at UT Tyler. The MVSC is an amazing office that works hard to ensure that all military-affiliated students can use their benefits for their education.

The Herrington Patriot Center has a ton of different classes that students can take advantage of, like yoga and Zumba. Each class is free to students, and the fitness schedule offers flexible times.

What are your goals or aspirations following graduation?

I plan to settle down in Tyler. I am looking to start a career, own a home and have a family. I would like to return to UT Tyler for continuing education and additional certificates to enhance my career goals.  UT Tyler has been my home for so long. I look forward to seeing its growth and advancements in the coming years.

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