Why would a man who graduated cum laude with three job offers accept the one that didn’t quite match either of his two Butler University degrees?
Because this offer came from Google, and “I think I would’ve been kicking myself if I hadn’t taken it,” said Chad Pingel ’16.
The Des Moines, Iowa, native hasn’t allowed himself many chances to kick himself for passing up opportunities in his life—or for failing to make the most of them. And though he earned degrees in Finance and Marketing with an Ethics minor, Pingel may have found his activities outside Butler’s classrooms the most educational.
“I was interested in forming relationships with folks who had unique and varied experiences. One of the core pieces to my time at Butler was how the campus fostered relationships from chance encounters and random experiences.”
Taking his parents’ lifelong advice to always make the most of the chances he’s given, Pingel quickly became a Student Ambassador and a member of the Student Government Association, eventually becoming Student Body President.
“Being in SGA was the perfect opportunity to serve as a liaison between groups. We were hearing students’ concerns directly and then championing them to staff, faculty, and administration,” he said. “Some of my proudest accomplishments happened in SGA.”
Pingel led initiatives to persuade IndyGo to reroute city buses through campus, and to court student input and buy-in around plans for new student residences.
“The plans were a bit of a shift in perspective for students who had lived in Ross Hall, like I did, and we didn’t want to lose the community feeling we had created there,” he said.
Pingel threw himself into the Lacy School of Business with the same sense of purpose. He cites three specific sources of the business mentality and work ethic he took to Google: The Real Business Experience (RBE), a financial portfolio management class, and the Butler Business Consulting Group (BBCG).
RBE teaches students how to finance and market a project, take informed risks, and manage a real business “just like out in the real world.” In the financial portfolio management class, Pingel and his team were allowed to invest and manage $2 million of the University’s endowment money. (They finished 80 basis points up.)
“I knew I was interested in assessing companies and the quality of an investment, but we got to go beyond that and develop higher-level skills by looking at overall business values,” he said.
Finally, Pingel said joining the BBCG was “one of the most exciting and valuable chances of my life. We got to help the NCAA better align their internal feedback and approach to setting goals. It was a dream project.”
Then came a job at one of the most successful companies in the world.
Google receives two million resumes every year. Pingel’s first position was in Human Resources, diving into that enormous stack of candidates to recruit for finance positions. Itching to get back to actual Finance a year later, he became a Finance Automation System Administrator, the position he holds today.
Though he said Google is such a leader in automation that no university could have fully prepared him for what he’s doing now, Pingel said he left Butler knowing how to assess information and maintain a work-life balance.
“I learned a lot about professional life, but also how to show yourself as someone who can have fun and relate to people,” he said. “And professors like Dr. Paul Valliere taught me the importance of staying intellectually curious. The ability to think creatively helps me every day—at Google and in life.”
Giving Back by Giving Chances
Working at Google in California puts Chad Pingel ’16 far from his Iowa family and his Butler family, too. He decided to stay connected and give back to the University by funding the Pingel Family Scholarship.
“I created a scholarship in my family’s name because I recognize all the sacrifices my parents made to put themselves through school. They worked two and three jobs, and I am so lucky that I could attend a great school like Butler without having to worry about finances,” he said. “Now, I get to give a similar chance to another student every year that could make the difference for them being able to attend Butler’s business school.”