Few probably expected that a BYU graduate in chemical engineering would have gone on to be featured on CBS’ reality TV show “Undercover Boss” or later end up selling “rubber duckies on the internet,”— but that’s exactly what Sam Taylor did.
CEO of Oriental Trading Company since May 2008 and former Undercover Boss, Taylor is expected to speak to BYU students on Tuesday, Jan. 26 about successfully navigating the ups and downs of a career since graduating in 1985.
Oriental Trading Company — the nation’s largest direct merchant value-priced company specializing in things like party supplies, arts and crafts, novelties and even school supplies — is flourishing. Although the company has done recruiting through the University of Nebraska, BYU is the only school they are trying to recruit from out of the surrounding area. Taylor partly attributed their reasoning to the fact that he’s a BYU alumni, and largely because of the caliber of students found at the university.
“I want to share with BYU students the things I’ve learned over 30 years of business and hopefully give them a jumpstart on their career or maybe give them more direction in terms of what they want to do in life,” Taylor explained.
Recalling his “top-notch” education, Taylor believes that chemical engineering taught him more than just the obvious implications like math skills.
“I use engineering everyday,” Taylor said. “What engineering teaches you is how to be a problem solver and how to analyze a situation.”
The event is held from 5-6:30 p.m. on Jan. 26 at the Varsity Theater and is open to anyone who would like to attend.