People

2017 30 Under 35 Profile: Cody Paulsen

Cody Paulsen, 25

Cody Paulsen
25
Quotations Specialist; Crescent Electric Supply

 

To an extent, Cody Paulsen’s first introduction to the electrical industry came in the house he grew up in.

Cody’s father was an electrical contractor for a while before working at Crescent Electric Supply, where Cody today is a quotations specialist.

Once his father went to work at Crescent Electric, it led to a childhood, sports-related memory that Cody is reminded of each day.

“It’s a funny story. When my dad was a contractor, one of our current account managers ended up taking me to my first Minnesota Vikings game when I was a kid,” he laughed. “And when I started working here I’d see him and think, ‘Oh, He’s the one who took me to the Vikings game 12 years ago!'”

After he graduated from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, Cody went to work in the warehouse at Crescent Electric.

He admits now that he knew very little about the industry, even when he first started.

“I had no experience or knowledge of anything. When I started in the industry I basically started in the warehouse for half a year,” Cody explained.

Looking back, he’s glad he started there.

“It taught me the basics of all the boring but important stuff that has to be done,” Cody said. “It got me to know the people at our company and I was able to get into the real world of work.”

The awareness of just how big the company and the overall industry were grew over time.

“I started to gain a better idea of the whole industry once I moved to counter sales,” Cody explained. “That’s when I started working more with contractors and vendors. That’s when I started to figure out how big the industry was.”

There began a steady rise through the Crescent ranks as he gained knowledge and, to an extent, as older employees moved on or retired, Cody explained.

Out of necessity, Cody’s learning curve never slows down as he moves on to different positions at Crescent.

“I haven’t held a single position for more than 10 months,” he explained. “To go with that, every time I get a hold of what my position is and start doing a good job, a new opportunity comes up for me to move up to a new position. With that, comes a whole lot more learning.”

Currently a quotations specialist, he has needed to improve his communication skills, he said, especially working with contractors.

“Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned in the past two years is just being extra-communicative with the customers. Everything I do is working with electrical contractors on their projects whether it’s hospitals or multi-unit residential,” he explained.

He is single and, in addition to following the Vikings, finds time to enjoy long boarding.

“A longboard is about 4-feet long or so. I used it in college to get from class to class,” Cody explained. “What would be a 10 minute walk would be about a two minute ride on the long board. You wouldn’t have to lock it up or anything I could just bring it into the classroom.”

 

Q. What advice do you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?

A. I would say do as much as you can to constantly improve. And do as much as you can to network. Networking has been one of the biggest things for me to get where I am.

One of the things I’m going to do later today is we have a youth event for anyone in our industry, anyone under 40 years old, distributors and vendors. We will meet up at a brewery here. So I get to meet our competitors and then meet up with some people we work with. We do something like that about once a month. That’s part of our networking.

Q. What do you think is the biggest opportunity within the industry?

A. I would have to say there are going to be a lot of opportunities in the industry in the coming years, especially with all the retirements. I have taken advantage of that in a way. I am where I am because of retirements, basically. That’s what I would say is one of the biggest opportunities – you see an opportunity, do what you can to take it and keep jumping because there are going to be a lot of opportunities for everyone real soon.

With all that, there is going to be a lot of experience disappearing. When you see that experience, try to learn from them before they decide to leave.

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