From president of his social club at OBU to vice president of human resources for Balchem Corporation, Brent Tignor, a 1999 OBU alumnus, has made a lot of changes over the past 18 years and urges students to do the same. Tignor spoke at the University’s Business Forum April 24 in Bailey Business Center on the OBU campus in Shawnee. The talk was hosted by the Paul Dickinson College of Business.
“If you know you need to make a change, don’t hesitate,” he said. “If you feel confident that that is where you need to be, that that is where God is leading you, it’s very common to sit on that and delay because most people are afraid of change.”
Tignor graduated from OBU in ’99 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, and his wife, Heather, also graduated from OBU in ’99. Two thirds of the way through his master’s degree in psychology, he realized that wasn’t what he wanted to do. He connected with someone working in human resources and decided to follow that path. While he still had the desire to help people, he also wanted the opportunity to apply that to a business setting.
Since that time, Tignor has been able to live and work in Chicago, Singapore and most recently the New York City metropolitan area, in numerous businesses and corporate settings. He has experience building diverse teams in multicultural environments, with focused experience in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Tignor advised students to figure out who they are and what is important to them.
“I realized that what was most important to me professionally was being able to have an impact on what I’m doing in a way I think is most appropriate,” he said.
Tignor reflected that when someone asks where he went to school, his answer of OBU automatically opens the door to have a conversation about his faith. He also discussed his experience in balancing his career goals with who he wants to be as a Christian.
“One of the reasons I chose the company I work for was the type of individuals I would be working with and the culture of that company,” he said. “Having a cultural fit in the company you’re going into is massively important. I was able to choose a company that fit my values. Most of the companies I’ve worked for have been relatively conservative companies that are not going to be combative against Christianity. I personally have never found it to be problematic.”