A Defining Detour
Taking an unplanned path leads to career ascent
By Eleanor Hunt
Kendra Moody never considered a career in human resources. She was a Marketing student at Baylor and graduated in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. When her quest for marketing roles led to sales jobs that did not seem suitable, Moody looked outside of marketing. A position for a human resources specialist surfaced at AECOM, a Fortune 500 infrastructure consulting firm.
“The human resources job was not something I thought about pursuing,” she said. “Now I cannot imagine where my career would be if I had not seized the opportunity.”
After two years, Moody was promoted to senior project specialist with the responsibility of managing a six-member team collaborating across three time zones. She also worked with AECOM’s global partners in London, Australia and Hong Kong and traveled three times to Manila, Philippines.
Kendra Moody, BBA ’16
Talent Manager; Oliver Wyman
“This job kick-started my career,” Moody said. “I was managing important projects, which gave me a global presence. I was responsible for seeing those projects through to the best of my ability.”
When a new opportunity came along in 2020, Moody seized the chance to work in the financial services industry. She served as an assistant vice president, Early Career Talent Acquisition and Program Management for global bank Citi in its Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex office. Moody advised on all aspects of early career talent and oversaw a myriad of human resources functions.
“I was managing projects at AECOM, but at Citi, I was managing programs,” she said. “I was guiding students who were starting out in their corporate careers. It was satisfying because I saw the fruit of the program.”
Moody also sees the fruit of attending Baylor. She rushed the sorority Pi Beta Phi in her freshman year and worked as a student assistant in the Learning Resource Center for two years. As a senior, Moody invested time with the Hankamer School of Business Professional Development Program (PDP) and Business Excellence Scholarship Team (B.E.S.T.).
“Pi Beta Phi enhanced my social and services outlook,” Moody said. “B.E.S.T. and PDP were two of the most influential organizations that I was involved in at Baylor. B.E.S.T. is a hidden gem of the Business School.”
In this program, Moody and her classmates developed case studies about entrepreneurs in Prague, visited those entrepreneurs in person and toured the Škoda Auto plant.
In the PDP, she helped organize professional development seminars.
“We were constantly involved with career fairs, presentations and alumni panels,” she said.
Those past activities are advantageous as Moody moves into a new position as talent manager at Oliver Wyman, a subsidiary of Marsh McLennan. She will oversee 60–70 consultants in Dallas and Houston, spearheading their professional development and training at the firm.
While acknowledging it is not easy being a woman, especially one of color, in the corporate realm, Moody believes a certain mindset is beneficial for women.
“Wherever you are and whatever the factors, you are supposed to be at the table, so take advantage of opportunities that come your way,” she said. “Do not turn down a job because you do not think it is where you want to be.”
Baylor Business Review, Fall 2022