Adaptability is my secret weapon

derondal bevly, b.b.a.'03

professional photo of DeRondal BevlyWhat do you do when things don’t go as anticipated? The answer to that question has defined DeRondal Bevly’s career.

Following graduation, Bevly diligently applied for positions, but the interviews were slow to materialize. Eventually, he approached a relative who owned a commercial cleaning company, and he worked cleaning an office building for five months.

“I went through the entire range of emotions: confusion, embarrassment and self-doubt,” says Bevly. “Then I decided to turn the situation into a positive, and it became a defining moment of my life. The building contained many professional service companies and creative agencies. I soaked it all in. I talked to senior partners about how they ran their businesses. I talked to creative pros about how they interacted with the media. I talked to the cleaning staff, who took me in as one of their own, about family and community.”

This experience was critical to Bevly’s philosophy about work and life.

“I learned not to assume anything,” he says. “Just when you think that you have things figured out is when you wind up at the bottom. I also learned a valuable lesson about treating everyone with respect, from the CEO to the person who cleans the CEO’s office. You never know another person’s story until you are in their shoes.”

Bevly’s ability to adapt has been his secret weapon throughout his career, as he worked in insurance and finance roles, eventually moving into the communications field. Today, Bevly has taken on the role of entrepreneur as the founder of RubyRose Strategies, a strategic communication and public relations firm that helps clients define their message and value proposition. Bevly’s clients are small- to medium-sized businesses as well as nonprofits and politicians.

Through all his experiences, the ability to adapt has helped Bevly to seize opportunities. “You have to be ready and nimble enough to make a dramatic pivot in order to advance,” he says. “The business world is constantly evolving. Those pivot points allow businesses to innovate with services and partnerships in order to strengthen existing business lines and create new ones.”

When asked about how he got to where he is today, Bevly is quick to reply, “The Haworth College of Business is the foundation for all of my successes in my professional life. The professors at the college helped me develop both the IQ and EQ needed to succeed. The wealth of talent and perspectives in those halls kept me engaged and on my toes.”