The College of Sciences and Humanities boasts many successful alumni who are using their Ball State skills to contribute to professions within their field. We celebrate their successes and the preparation of a Ball State education in our Cardinal Directions series.
My name is Brandon Coppernoll. I graduated from Ball State University in 2005 with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science. My main focus of study was information systems. This allowed me to partake in a lot of business courses at Ball State and get a well-rounded education.
Tell us about your current job. We’d love to hear about the day-to-day work and your broader projects.
My current role is the digital marketing manager at Accutech Systems Corporation, based out of Muncie, IN. They have nearly 100 employees around the United States, many of whom are remote employees. My responsibilities are to lead the marketing strategy of the organization and its business units: Moneytree Software, Opendigital, and FiCrowd.
Each day I spend a little time on strategy and building out our marketing calendar, working closely with our small marketing team, engaging with other teams like product management and sales, and executing marketing activities—mostly digitally.
I am also a co-founder of TechWise Academy with another Ball State graduate, Ryan Hunter. He and I are teaching computer science and coding to K-12 students. We’ve been doing this for more than five years. We started locally at the Innovation Connector and are now branching to an online curriculum.
Will you describe your career path? Did you land your current job immediately after graduation or find your way there circuitously?
My career path took a few turns and pivots that I didn’t expect right away. I secured a job as a database developer after graduation, and within a couple of years I moved to a lead developer role. In 2008-2009, I started learning Google Analytics which opened the door to my digital marketing career. I joined Ball State in 2010 as a web solutions architect in University Marketing and Communications.
By 2015, I assumed the role as director of digital marketing at Ball State and led the website redesign which took the existing site from an organizational structure to a more student-focused navigation. We intended to simplify finding key information for students and parents because they use our site every day. Over five years in this role, I’m proud of what my team and I accomplished.
I started at Accutech in June 2020. It was terrifying to make a jump to a new industry and new company in the middle of the pandemic. I always had a soft spot for technology and software since I began as a computer scientist, and the opportunity at Accutech excited me. I’m so happy to make the move.
How have you grown and learned in your successive jobs that have led to your current position?
The most important lesson I’ve learned over my career is make each move with a goal in mind and ready to learn something new. It keeps me driven, and it keeps the work fresh. There is always something to learn or someone to learn from.
Communicating with others, from different teams and perspectives, is critical in career development. Working with people with different backgrounds and points of view opens the door to finding new ways to solve problems or accomplish difficult tasks.
What is the most fulfilling part of your current job?
The culture at Accutech Systems is wonderful. People genuinely care about and root for each other. This makes working, even remotely, a ton of fun.
Perhaps the most fulfilling part is I’m back in “student mode” as I’m learning about a new industry with different needs and expectations. That’s pretty fun.
What are the most valuable skills you learned as a Ball State student in the College of Sciences and Humanities? How have they helped you post-graduation?
One of my most valued skills from CSH is critical thinking. Computer Science helped me learn how to break down complex problems into smaller parts to create a clearer path to successfully solving them. The wide variety of classes and people along the way made me feel more comfortable in asking questions, and communicating with different people in many ways helped me so much during my time at Ball State. It gives me a lot of confidence.
Is there a particular class, professor, or professional opportunity that had a particularly significant impact on you?
I loved learning from Vinayak Tanksale during my time at Ball State. He was challenging but always encouraged me to keep finding new paths to an answer.
What advice do you have for current or future students in your major or who might hope to follow your career path?
Embrace learning for life. Ask questions and lean into new opportunities and conversations. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know. Let’s find out together.”
My experience as a computer science major and web developer played huge roles into my development and success as a digital marketer. Computer Science can span so many industries and disciplines. You get to solve problems and create. That’s pretty cool.
To learn more about the Computer Science Department at Ball State, visit their website, or you can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You can also contact the department chair directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.