Alumni Profile - Tony Rangel
Photo by Tim Chow
Why did you choose UNC for your undergraduate studies??
UNC was close to home. I coached high school and club soccer in Greeley while I was in school, so attending UNC allowed me to stay involved in my community.
What was your first position after college?
Management Trainee with Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
How do you describe your career path since graduation?
In a word, challenging. I more or less fell into my first position out of school but saw it for what it was, a great opportunity to learn, grow, and open new doors. Since then, I focused on and became a professional sales person, a career that I would never have pictured myself in coming out of school. It has not only been challenging to develop the skills and discipline necessary to be successful, but also to embrace that I was a natural fit for the role.
You studied education but are now in sales, how do you tie your UNC experience to your career?
I think my experience is a bit unique in that I went to school for a very specific career and did not end up following that path. The process of completing a program that I was no longer invested in was challenging, but the relationships I built with students from other programs, primarily in the business school, gave me the confidence that I would build a successful career in business regardless of my degree. While I did not become an educator, the experience of planning a semester’s worth of content, preparing and speaking publicly everyday, and learning to work with various personalities have been the most valuable to my career.
Ten years out, where are you now?
I am currently an Employee Benefits Broker working with companies with up to 250 employees. My company, Zenefits, is a disruptive company in that we are changing what employers expect from their broker. Our technology platform allows companies to more efficiently manage the entire employee experience from onboarding to termination and everything in between. With my background in mid market sales and account management, I was recruited into this role to help grow the company.
What is it like to work for a growing technology company?
Zenefits is the first company to integrate both a national brokerage and technology company. The marriage of these two core competencies coupled with the very dynamic health insurance industry have helped fuel our record setting growth. We have been able to deliver real HR solutions to companies with 2-1000 employees. Our technology platform has allowed companies to streamline and automate time consuming administrative tasks which has allowed them to focus on more strategic functions like recruiting and retention.
Our culture is very exciting and very challenging. I find myself constantly being challenged by my colleagues who are extremely intelligent and driven. Our CEO has certainly set the tone by being radically transparent and allowing an open dialogue among the team to foster ideas that will shape the company.
You reached out to help recruit UNC Bears to Zenefits, why should alumni encourage companies to hire other UNC Bears?
I don’t know anyone who did not get or need a hand in progressing his or her career. The best way to continue that success is to help someone else on that same journey.
What advice do you give recent graduates who are exploring different career options?
Don’t sell your experience short. Everyone has transferable skills, but it is up to you to understand what it will take to be successful and then redefine how you view your own abilities.
Since your career took you out of state, what advice do you give recent graduates considering jobs outside of Colorado?
Grow and lean on your network. Ask a million questions. Think in terms of three to five to 10 years. Take calculated risks and remember that fortune favors the bold.