DeRondal Bevly (B.B.A.’03, Economics)
How were you involved on campus?
Sigma Phi Epsilon, Western Student Association
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Current Location: Chicago, IL
Job Title and Company/Organization: Managing Director, RubyRose Strategies
Favorite campus memory: I loved the in-between class moments and movements. Heading to the Rec, back to the dorms to load up on food, hanging around Haworth, running into friends or making new ones. Maggie’s breakfast stew. The patio area at Bells. The Passport at Waldo’s. There was always something to do. Always an electricity in the air that helped enhance campus/class life.
I graduated from Western Michigan University in 2003, in a world that is far different from the one that we are in today. When I graduated and moved back to Chicago, I naively thought firms were going to line up on LaSalle Street in order to hire me and show me to the corner office. To my surprise/dismay, that didn’t happen. So, for the first five months, I worked as a custodial engineer from 5pm - 1am Monday through Friday, cleaning elevators and hauling trash. Definitely not the ideal first job, but I made the best of it and I owe a big thanks to Western Michigan for helping me navigate that.
As a Bronco, I honed my perseverance, determination, grit and creative skills. I learned how to develop relationships with people from all walks of life. I learned that it’s not a matter of where you start but how/where you finish. Those lessons/experiences helped me navigate that job and stay motivated to continue on my path. I got to connect with partners in law firms, creatives in ad agencies, security guards, and most importantly, my fellow cleaning staff members.
After those first five months, I secured a job with a Fortune 500 insurance brokerage and my career was well on its way. Now, as an entrepreneur running my own communications/pr practice for five years, those skills have continued to pave the way for new successes and new opportunities. Rarely a day goes by that I do not rely on something that I learned at Western Michigan or from one of my fellow Broncos.
Being a Bronco is the gift that keeps on giving. I never knew that my life would continue to be enhanced as a result of starting my journey at Western Michigan University. As such, I thoroughly enjoy serving on the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, representing 260,000 alums worldwide. It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve with a dedicated group of people seeking to amplify the voice of our alumni. Go Broncos!