Fast 15: Michael Dodd

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 342 views 

Michael Dodd, the youngest of this year’s honorees, knows the value of leadership.

The Leawood, Kan., native graduated from the University of Arkansas one year ago and held leadership roles with a variety of boards and organizations during his four years, notably as student body president his senior year. He also founded a registered student organization for the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks.

“I knew about five people when I walked onto campus,” Dodd recalled. “I had a passion for getting to know more people and learning more about leadership, and the best way to do that was outside the classroom.”

After graduating, the affable Dodd began immediately with Wal-Mart — where he also interned in summer 2011 — as one of 18 participants in the company’s entry-level merchant leadership program, studying all the segments of merchandising.

Dodd finished the nine-month program in February, and is now finishing a six-month stint as a planning analyst for the men’s tops segment of menswear.

“My golf polo wardrobe has probably quadrupled,” he quipped. “When you sell a product, it’s fun to be able to wear it and be proud of it.”

Dodd hopes to continue with Wal-Mart when the planning analyst period is complete.

“I am in a good spot as far as developing a career,” he said. “It’s been humbling just to see and learn from some of our executives.”

Dodd enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and other friends in Fayetteville, and is an avid fan of the Razorbacks and recruiting. A national sports columnist even featured Dodd prominently in a Signing Day story earlier this year.

“I’m a Catfish Hole regular when recruits are in town,” he said.

Dodd is already plugged into a variety of local boards, including the NWA Razorback Club, and is the young alumni director for the NWA Chapter of the Arkansas Alumni Association.

He also teaches Sunday school and volunteers Sunday afternoons at Potter’s House in Fayetteville.

Living life efficiently is something Dodd takes in stride.

“There’s not a lot of time for worrying or sleeping when there is so much else we can be doing,” he said. “To me, it’s just a fabric of my lifestyle.”