Randy Tomlin graduated from Texas A&M University on a Friday, then started his job the next Monday at Southwestern Bell in Houston. In the 31 years since then, the changes in the telecommunications industry have kept his career path fresh.
Tomlin thrives on a balanced life that encompasses personal time, work, family and physical fitness. “Sometimes it’s a triangle, sometimes it’s a circle, but all of those elements are always in the mix,” he told a group of undergraduate students at Mays. “I have a PhD in bleacher butt, in coaching, in Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts — anything our kids were involved in.”
He says he has always followed the opportunities, moving 14 times and traversing positions ranging from human resources to engineering, accounting and finance to education. The moves have helped instill in Tomlin and in his family openness to new things. “When my kids went to college there was no transition at all. We built it into their lives and their experience, so they don’t know anything else.”
Now Tomlin is senior vice president of U-verse field operations at the company that is now AT&T, a position he has held since 2008.
Tomlin touts the company’s Code of Business Conduct as a clear guide for his actions along the way. “It’s as true as the Code of Honor at Texas A&M,” he explains. Like the Aggie honor code, AT&T’s code of conduct recognizes that every choice impacts others. “We develop the people who come into AT&T,” Tomlin says, “not the company. People have kids who get sick and cars that break down, and the decisions you make affect lives of others in the family. You have to remember that.”
Business Honors major Casey Gattshall ’15 said he found it refreshing to hear that the corporate culture is shifting toward an emphasis on people rather than on numbers/results. “If you take care of the people in your organization and set them up for success, the positive results will follow,” Gattshall summarized.
Mentors are valuable to employees, Tomlin told the students. On his job interview, he told his recruiter, “All I ever wanted was a family, and a job is a way to a family.” Joe Walkoviak, who has been Tomlin’s mentor ever since, drove Tomlin through a nice neighborhood and told him with the position he was considering, he could buy a house in that neighborhood. “Joe made a difference in my life then, and 35 years later, I am still friends with him. We all need someone like that. It helps us keep things in balance.”
About Mays Business School
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.
Categories: Executive Speakers