By Virginia Krog, Business Honors ’22
FedEx is a globally recognized company, delivering millions of packages a day. Yet in FedEx’s own words, the company does more than just deliver packages. It delivers “happiness, growth, hope or simply, peace of mind.”
So how does a company that prides itself on providing solutions to connect people with possibilities remain relevant in an increasingly competitive world? For FedEx, the answer comes through its global perspective, embracing change (technology), its people, and its brand.
Trampas Gunter ’94, who graduated with an accounting degree from Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, member of Business Fellows Group 11, and current Staff Vice President of Corporate Development & Integration Planning at FedEx spoke on Oct. 9 to Business Honors students as part of the Mays Leadership Form series.
Gunter shared that FedEx stands out through what it means to communities. The Delivering for Good program, FedEx’s initiative to lend its global network and unparalleled logistics expertise to organizations with mission-critical needs in times of disaster and to help communities heal, learn and thrive, was highlighted.
Gunter is a wonderful illustration of what makes FedEx stand out to communities: He is a man who is tireless in his pursuit of excellence, as shown through the five points he chose to share that have guided his career:
- Think big – Be hungry always wanting more, and know you can’t get anywhere without taking risks
- Life is an equation – Life has lots of variables with different values, with each of the variables mattering, based on what values you place on them
- Careers are a slide puzzle – Be willing to take the necessary steps to get to where you want to go in life and don’t be afraid of taking steps down or sideways in your career
- Be Intense – Try to be a step ahead, anticipating before being asked, lead by example, and outwork ethic others
- Own your roots – In a world that questions traditions, often finding them and even wrong, embrace these foundational elements that make you a unique leader. Traditions are good things; they make Texas A&M what it is and provide you with a solid grounding that others will aspire to tap into
Ultimately, Gunter left students with an impression of the importance of being restless, tireless, and relentless in their professional life. Never settle and don’t be afraid. A man from a small town east of Amarillo with a graduating class of 18 students, and only the second person from his town to attend Texas A&M University, Gunter has come a long way. Fun fact: FedEx delivers 1.2 million packages in the time it used to take him to ride the bus to school. “When looking at companies,” said Gunter, “think about their investment in leadership and development.” The pursuit of excellence is the pursuit of a lifetime.
Business Honors student John Clayton ’19 said he recognizes the importance of work-life balance more than money or having the most interesting job. He said Gunter couched the move in terms of confidence. “If you’re confident, you can work hard and excel anywhere, you’ll be more than willing to move lower in the ranks in order to work at a company you love,” Clayton said. He also reflected on the importance of always bringing fresh ideas to work. “It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, so I want to surround myself with creative people who push me to think better.”
Eric Hart ’21 said he appreciated how much time Gunter spent on the post-presentation question session. “He was completely honest, and I learned so much about mergers and acquisitions, but it was also refreshing to be asked for our opinions about issues FedEx is facing right now,” he said. Hart also said his time with Gunter will impact his future, as he aims to work as an investment banker. “Now I know the process from the corporate side – what news sources they use, and the reasons why corporations choose to acquire a company or refuse the deal,” he said.
Business Honors student John Hildreth ’22 said Gunter pointed out they were not going to get anywhere without taking any risk, and the reason why he is where he is that he was comfortable with being uncomfortable. “When looking for a place to work, we were encouraged to look for companies that focus on development and training,” Hildreth said, “He had a question section of the PD event where some main takeaways were that your career path is not linear but more like a slide puzzle.”