by Darla Vasquez - Feb 27, 2017
John Cross is currently pursuing a dual major in business management and supply chain management (SCM) at the Rawls College of Business. He chose to earn a SCM degree in addition to a business management degree because the management, storage, and transportation of goods and services is a specific area of interest. Through his degree plan and internship experience, Cross is on track to gain the knowledge and skills required to successfully manage across all aspects of business.
Even before attending Texas Tech, Cross began his career by joining the team at his family owned business. His father is the owner and general manager of Jordan Ford, a franchise Ford dealership in San Antonio, Texas. At 16, he began working at the dealership as a technician in the “Quick Lane,” changing oil, rotating tires, performing engine fluid flushes, brake jobs, etc. After a year, Cross became a service drive coordinator, where his job was to greet customers, prep vehicles for service, and perform basic vehicle checks. Additionally, he drove the courtesy shuttle bus. This experience gave Cross the opportunity to expand his customer service skills, while collecting customer feedback about the company and its services. His last job at the dealership was writing service. The main duty was writing up customers’ vehicles as they came in for service, meaning he communicated the issue to the technician and acted as liaison between the technicians and the customers.
Beyond the family business, Cross completed an e-commerce and sales internship at a Ford dealership in Lamesa, Texas in 2015. The internship gave him experience selling cars, as well as involvement in the digital aspect of the business. Additionally, he worked for Ford Motor Company in Plano, Texas in 2016 as a marketing, sales and service intern. That corporate experience supplemented the retail experience he received in the past, expanding his knowledge of Ford. During the corporate internship, Cross had the opportunity to work on the revitalization of the Lincoln Motor Company brand.
When asked if he plans to take over the family business, Cross said it’s a common question that has no simple yes or no answer. Upon graduation in Dec., his goal is to either work for Ford Motor Company or at Jordan Ford. He says both prospects are exciting because they are great opportunities to gain real business experience using the management, marketing, finance, and supply chain skills he has acquired at the Rawls College.
Ultimately, Cross plans to work at the family dealership, but the path he’ll take to get there is unclear. His father ensures him that he will never hold a position at the dealership that he has not earned, which Cross finds reassuring.
“I want to hold positions at the dealership which I’ve earned; not only for myself, but for the other employees that are working there as well. Everyone has heard the saying, ‘start from the bottom…'” Cross says. “Well, that’s exactly what I want to do. What better way to learn the entire business than from working various jobs, positions, and departments throughout the organization? This not only helps me understand how the organization operates as a whole, but also allows me to earn the respect of the employees working there.”