Alumni Spotlight

UT Tyler Soules College of Business

Crystal Traylor

Crystal Traylor

Tell us a little about you.

I graduated from UT Tyler in Dec 2013 with my BBA in Marketing and I am currently a Pricing Analytics Analyst with Ingersoll Rand (Trane/American Standard) and have been with IR for 3 years. I will also be publishing a novel before the end of the year.

What did you do right after graduating? 

I worked many temporary positions right after graduating and that was the perfect way for me to test the waters in many companies/industries without obligation. If any of those positions were to have extend an offer on the first day, I would have jumped at the opportunity, but (with the exception of my current employer) by the end of the assignment I was happy to be able to move on. That experience was able to help me narrow down what I was looking for in a position/company as well as manage my expectations.  

Tell us about your current job and what you do. 

As a Pricing Analytics Analyst, I support the retail and project-based pricing teams at Ingersoll Rand with reporting and analytics for all residential HVAC products in the US. We use a combination of different data manipulation software programs, including Tableau and Alteryx, to accomplish this.

How did your Soules College of Business Degree help you with your current position?

More than anything, my degree helped me prepare for the mindset that would be needed in my current position. Luckily for me, I chose a degree that has a broad range of applications. One may link analytics to Mathematics before Marketing but, going down to the fundamentals of marketing with the 4 P’s (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion), pricing is also in my job title. Like fingers on the same hand, those fundamentals are all connected and my job encompasses, in some form or fashion, all of them; even though it wasn't in the traditional marketing realm of sales or advertising. 

What was your favorite Soules College of Business class and why?

I knew I chose the right degree when every marketing class was my favorite! Just when I thought I loved a class the most, I took another class and it was like, “But wait, there’s more!” in the best possible way. My all-time favorite class was Marketing Research. But close runners-up were Retailing, Consumer Behavior, and Operations Management.  

Were you involved in any student organizations while a student here?

I was involved in the student organization ENACTUS and was able to participate in their second Rising Phoenix Project event. I loved being able to connect with the community in a way that was encouraging and instilled hope for a brighter future while giving real tools and practical advice.   

What advice would you give current Soules College of Business students?

My college experience was not the typical experience. I am a first-generation college graduate and was a mother of three children under 5 years old when I began taking classes. I would tell students that college is difficult but not impossible and totally worth it! Take advantage of the opportunity to learn and use it to challenge yourself to grow. Get involved in student organizations. Talk to your professors. Ask questions. Pay attention and keep in mind the classes you love and seek out advice to find employment in those areas. Keep in touch with good study partners, they will be a good networking resource later.  

What insight do you have for Soules College of Business students that are about to graduate on how to land their first job?

Talk to your professors! I asked advice on which local companies to look at for the areas of skill that interested me. I remember saying “This is what I would like to do but I don’t know what companies do this.” Those conversations were invaluable to me. I would also say not to discount or dismiss opportunities for temporary positions, even if it's in an area outside of your field of study. I was able to network through connections with past assignments and a temporary assignment was how I was introduced to the company I currently work for.