Thinking that he had received a junk e-mail, Ken Davis (’02, Management and Marketing) almost missed the “out of the blue” offer to work at Microsoft. How many people get an opportunity to work at Microsoft within months of job searching? God had instilled in Ken the desire to work for a tech company like Microsoft ever since he became a fan of their products.
“God’s provision has been evident not just to land this role, but also to land each position leading up to and after it,” Ken said.
“God laid down different experiences in my path, which helped me build all the needed skills over time,” he said. “I believe God puts those desires in your heart so He can lead you there and show you His goodness.”
Ken attributes the training he received at PCC to helping him succeed as a financial leader. “The one highly underrated class I took was Business Writing,” he said. “We learned critical tips on how to be concise, to focus on ‘you,’ and to organize ideas on paper and in presentations effectively. I find myself continually referring to the principles I learned in Business Writing.” He has received compliments from companies on his written communication style, as well as frequent requests from colleagues to proofread executive e-mails. “Speech and English classes were helpful as well. Written communication is becoming a lost art, but it separates you from the pack as a communicator.”
Besides knowledge, PCC instills character in students by requiring class attendance and teaching students to dress sharp. “Discipline is often not expected in a secular institution,” Ken said. Bible classes also taught him to strengthen his faith and knowledge of the Bible and to sustain his faith for a secular business world. “Because a lot of eyes are on you as a leader, it’s that much more important to draw on principles from the Bible to show consistency, character, proper ethics, joy, and enthusiasm in your everyday work,” he said.
Ken observed that his teachers demonstrated that they wanted to be there instead of needed to be there; they poured themselves into the students’ learning journeys. “Their dedication provided an example of how I needed to show up to work ‘wanting to be there’ with a sense of gratefulness, passion, ownership, and responsibility,” Ken said. What he learned while at PCC made earning his M.B.A. seem like a review.
After four years at Microsoft, Ken saw the Lord open the door to pursue a new opportunity. The experience he had accumulated equipped him to become the senior director of finance for Updater, a new startup company based in New York. Updater created a brand new app that can be compared to Uber—but for movers. The app organizes personalized and very detailed mobile checklists to minimize the stress of moving. With this company, Ken provides strategic insights directly to the CFO and manages Updater’s financial planning.
Ken is often reminded why God brought him this far. “God opens moments for me to be a blessing in someone’s personal life,” he said. Beyond an in-depth knowledge of finance, accounting, and business, there is also the social aspect of gaining trust, having influence, being insatiably curious, and interacting effectively with people at all levels.
“Because of the trust we’re given, executives find that we provide a listening ear,” he said. “It’s an awesome opportunity to practice my faith by seasoning the conversation with empathy and a faith-based perspective. I believe God arranges leaders in business and Christians to cross paths for such moments.”
With the character traits for success and the fundamentals of business that he learned along the way, Ken was equipped to excel. “I put in a lot of extra hours, but it was also one of those career-building, God-provided learning experiences,” he said.