Coca-Cola and Second Chances

PROVO, Utah – Aug 24, 2022 – After failing BYU Marriott’s introductory marketing class, Trapper Denton initially decided that marketing was not for him. However, encouraged by his wife, he retook the course. Thanks to that perseverance, Denton has now found his place in the marketing world and helps other students do the same.  

“Coca-Cola is the company that drew me to marketing,” says Denton, now a marketing senior at the BYU Marriott School of Business. “I realized that marketing is all about sharing and giving to others in need.” He credits this realization to Coca-Cola's famous Share a Coke campaign, which created a powerful need for the company’s product and gave consumers a personal connection with the brand. 

Knowing this, Denton views marketing as a way to serve. “I like looking at shortages in the world,” he says. “These are opportunities for me to help others by fulfilling their needs.” Although Coca-Cola may not be the elixir for all problems, Denton hopes to market products in the future that will benefit those who are struggling. Helping others is the core of his future career pursuits. 

The groundwork for these career plans was first laid while Denton was serving a mission in Arizona for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thanks to the various leadership positions and responsibilities Denton took on, he had many opportunities to collaborate with and uplift his peers.  

“I always tried to design creative incentives to assist the missionaries in their work,” Denton says. He recalls a fellow missionary noticing his talents and suggesting that Denton give marketing a shot after his mission. After he returned to BYU, Denton gave marketing a try and enrolled in Marketing 201, the introductory course at BYU Marriott. 

“I straight up bombed the class,” he admits. Denton took the course again with renewed determination and focus. This time, he walked away convinced that marketing was the path for him.  

Now fully immersed in the field, the marketing senior has built an impressive résumé in only a few short years. Leadership continues to be a staple in his career, and practicing what he preaches, he uses these leadership opportunities to help others. 

Serving as the vice president of professional development in BYU Marriott’s Marketing Association, Denton focuses on using his networking skills to benefit his peers. “I connect with professionals and bring them to our events,” he says. “This helps students in the association receive the advice and knowledge they need to make their own decisions to build their careers.” Recently, he also accepted a position in BYU Marriott’s Marketing Lab as a consultant, where he will be expected to deliver professional-level results to big-name clients. 

Denton’s achievements extend beyond the BYU campus. This summer he landed a competitive merchandising internship with No. 17-ranked Fortune 500 company Home Depot. “Getting in with a big company that has an incredibly low acceptance rate for its internship is probably my proudest accomplishment,” Denton says.  

True to form, although he held no official leadership position at Home Depot, he still found ways to lead. Denton’s experiences over the years have taught him valuable lessons about leadership. “Leading is a crucial skill that can be learned,” Denton says. Regardless if leadership capabilities come naturally, he says that these skills must be practiced.  

“Leadership is learning how to decipher what makes good decisions and then choosing the best decision to make,” Denton says. In his internship, Denton combined his hard-earned leadership skills with good research to make the best decisions for his consumers. 

Beyond school and work, Denton’s wife, Shino, has played a pivotal role in his career decisions so far. Her Japanese heritage has given Denton valuable insights about marketing. 

“Seeing different cultures has been a blast; this is one of the aspects I love most about marketing,” says Denton. The Provo native hopes to travel the world and continue to encounter new people and cultures, using his skills to help people everywhere. “I would love to work for a global company and help that company increase its impact outside the United States,” Denton says.   

Despite his work history, Denton’s proudest accomplishment is being a husband and father. He and Shino recently welcomed their first child, Callum, into the family.  

Moving forward, Denton has accepted a full-time offer with Home Depot, based just 20 minutes from Coca-Cola's headquarters in Atlanta. Denton, now an experienced leader with impressive business skills, is ambitious for opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others. 

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Trapper Denton, vice president of professional development in BYU's Marketing Association and BYU Marketing Lab consultant. Photo courtesy of Trapper Denton.
Denton and Shino
Denton and his wife, Shino. Photo courtesy of Trapper Denton.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Jaden McQuivey