Hardison focuses on Walmart customers, associates

Dallas Hardison has always been interested in sports. He was the starting quarterback for the Henderson State Reddies his senior year in 2015, leading the team to a conference championship and Henderson’s first playoff win.

With a desire for a sports-related career, Hardison became interested in sports marketing. He chose to major in marketing through Henderson’s School of Business.

“I found that marketing and sales was going to be right up my alley,” he said. “I really enjoy discovering what it is that customers want and need, and figuring out the best way to fulfill those customer needs.”

After graduating from Henderson, Hardison went to work in his hometown of Bentonville as a project specialist for Walmart’s Home Office.

It may not be sports marketing, but Hardison is excited about his opportunity with the world’s largest retailer.

“My role is to find different gaps in current processes and projects that affect our store associates, and try to innovate and make recommendations to create easier and more seamless processes for our store associates,” he said. “I also work on a project that focuses on getting our suppliers’ products to our shelves and on to our website faster.”

Hardison continues to rely on his marketing education.

“My marketing degree has taught me to focus on the customer first. If I can fulfill their needs and make them happy, then everything else will work itself out,” he said. “The information I have learned about sales has been extremely beneficial as well.

“You are always doing something that can be connected to sales whether you are actually selling a product, selling an idea, or if you are selling yourself in a job interview.”

Hands-on learning at Henderson and exposure to numerous business experts provided a real-world experience for Hardison.

“I participated in projects with real life businesses. It was so helpful to see the concepts that we talked about in class being put into action out in the business world,” Hardison said. “We heard from various speakers in a multitude of fields. That not only gave a real-world perspective of how marketing concepts are being utilized in real life, but it also got students thinking about what they want to do with their degrees and how they can use them.”

Hardison said he’s most interested in the sales and consumer behavior aspects of marketing.

“I really enjoy sales and focusing on how the product or idea that I am trying to sell can benefit the customer in some way,” he said. “Consumer behavior is interesting because it is a lot of problem solving in a way. You are constantly trying to figure out what it is that the consumer cares about and why they purchase the things that they do.”

Hardison said he learned about Henderson State through football. He was offered a scholarship to play for the Reddies.

“I was first unsure about coming to Henderson,” he said. “I visited the campus and the town and immediately knew that Henderson was the place for me. On the way home, I stopped in Bryant, called Coach (Scott) Maxfield and accepted the scholarship offer.”

If he hadn’t majored in marketing, Hardison said he probably would have pursued a degree in finance or accounting.

“I have always had an interest in numbers and money,” he said. “I think that a career in one of those fields would be very interesting and entertaining.”

Hardison said he plans to begin working on his master’s degree this year and hopes to continue his career progression with Walmart.