Criminal Justice & Criminology Alumni Kevin Robertson
There is no such thing as a one-size fits all career path. Often our passion, networking, and life events take us in directions we never could have imagined. Kevin Robertson is a graduate of the Ball State Criminal Justice and Criminology department who has spent the last several years building a career that upholds the CJC mission of leading communities towards a high ethical standard. As Senior Manager for Deliver Operations at the Walmart corporation, Kevin works to prevent fraud, shoplifting, and harm to customers. While it was not the traditional law enforcement career he dreamed of as a freshman, he is proud of the difference he is making and the unexpected path of his career.
What was your first job after graduation and how did that lead to your current position?
My first job was catching shoplifters at a single Walmart store. I absolutely loved it and was able to build great relationships with the local PD, State Police, and prosecutors. It got my foot in the door to an amazing company that has allowed me to work in so many different roles over the years. Once you get into a good company and work hard, show you can exceed expectations at your current position, and continue to learn, the only limitations are self-created.
What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
In leadership positions, there is more stress, but there is also the ability to positively impact so many people daily. I see my primary goal not as preventing fraud and shoplifting, but as helping people. The average Walmart Supercenter has between 4,000 to 7,000 customers in their store each day, and there are people that need help each day. I’m not talking about something simple finding the bread aisle, but real emergencies occur. A customer’s blood sugar might drop and they need immediate assistance, or someone could overdose in the restroom. My job is managing those responses so that our stores are best able to care for their customers.
What advice can you give current students about finding their way in the Criminal Justice and Criminology field?
The advice I would give is work backwards, review the jobs you want that currently exist and understand the minimum and preferred requirements. Bridge all of the gaps you can prior to your professional career, such as certifications, or playing an active part in organizations that make a difference in the field.
The degree is broad. Criminal justice impacts every industry and in Walmart I spent 7 months catching shoplifters, going to court, and working directly with the Plainfield (IN) Police Department. Ultimately ending up where I am now was not the path I had expected, but it has been fun and I have made a difference. In my current job and career I have been able to help people, prevent loss, prevent crime, and help a business thrive. From the beginning, my degree in Criminal Justice and my openness to new opportunities set me apart from the competition, and it can for you too.