At first glance, it might not seem that a political science degree would prepare someone for a global industrial company such as Johnson Controls of Milwaukee.
But it was perfect for Alex Ray. Ray graduated with a political science degree from Ouachita Baptist University and a friend hired him to work at a Johnson Controls branch in Little Rock. “I didn’t know how to spell HVAC when I graduated from college,” joked Ray, referring to Johnson Controls brands such as York and Tyco. “I had no intention to go into this line of business.”
Ray said he focused on Johnson Controls’ sustainability infrastructure, working with school districts, municipalities and universities. “It’s political, strategic and relationship — those are three of my favorite words,” Ray said.
Ray said his soft skills make him perfect for his job. In 2016, he was promoted to director of business development for the company’s Arkansas operations.
“I’m in the people business,” Ray said. “I sell to people. I’m in the business of solving problems and delivering solutions.”