Developing Tomorrow’s Global Leaders

PROVO, Utah – May 13, 2021 – When 2016 HRM graduate Kelly Andrews first came to the BYU Marriott School of Business, he didn’t imagine that his career would include presenting to Fortune 500 companies, writing a book, or helping eliminate global poverty through his work with the United Nations. However, the principles of ethics and service that Andrews learned at BYU Marriott have guided every step of his professional journey.

Andrews's choice in career path can be traced back to his time as a missionary when he was assigned to hold leadership roles that helped him better understand how to train those under his supervision. As a student in the human resources management (HRM) program at BYU Marriott, Andrews learned principles of service and ethics that would guide the rest of his career in training and development. “Ethics and service were a major part of the curriculum during my time at BYU Marriott,” he says. “I was taught that my word is my bond and that we should make a difference for good in this world.”

As president of BYU Marriott’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) chapter, Andrews invited other students to come to BYU Marriott and learn similar lessons about service and human potential. During the Fall 2015 semester, he and his leadership team planned a kickoff event that advertised a different way for students to think about human resources. “The team and I created flyers that asked things like, ‘Do you enjoy motivating, training, and developing others? Then come learn about how to do this in your career!’,” he explains. “We put flyers all over campus, including on every single table on every single floor of the Harold B. Lee Library, the Wilkinson Student Center, and the science buildings.”

“Five minutes after the event started, more than one hundred people had shown up to attend, which was more than we’d ever had,” he continues. “Seeing everyone come was an emotional high for all of the SHRM leadership. Our membership had explosive growth after that.”

After Andrews’s graduation in 2016 he started work at VitalSmarts, an employee training company. “At VitalSmarts, I became a trainer and was sent to organizations like Google, Oracle, Xerox, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency,” he says. “These clients taught me a lot and the experience forced me to learn how to stand and deliver in front of people who many times were twice my age.”

Andrews’ time at VitalSmarts also taught him how to write. “As I took initiative and said ‘yes’ to opportunities, VitalSmarts eventually allowed me to contribute to their thought leadership. This led to authoring and co-authoring in publications like the Harvard Business Review, Training Magazine, and”

Eventually Andrews left VitalSmarts and joined fellow BYU Marriott alum Roger Connors in writing a book and starting Zero to Ten, another training company. “One of my favorite moments was co-authoring Get a Coach, Be a Coach alongside Roger Connors, Seth Connors, and Jeff Adcock,” says Andrews. “But it sure wasn’t easy. As part of the writing process, my co-authors and I worked under a tight deadline and had to produce about a chapter every week. I’d never written a book before, but Roger became an invaluable mentor, guiding us every step of the way.”

During his time at both VitalSmarts and Zero to Ten, Andrews enjoyed sharing business knowledge with others through in-person trainings and in printed publications. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and disrupted the training industry, he decided to leave Zero to Ten to find new opportunities to develop and motivate others. Currently, from his home in Utah, Andrews is a part-time master’s student focusing his studies on organizational development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and working full-time as a graduate intern in leadership development for an agency in the United Nations (UN). “The pandemic has actually been somewhat of a blessing,” he says. “Because of technology, I might start the day by working with my team at the UN in Copenhagen, Denmark, then by the afternoon join one of my classes at Harvard in Boston, Massachusetts.”

Andrews’s background in helping people reach their potential now helps him develop UN leaders to make a global impact as he works in leadership development. “The United Nations Development Programme has a mission to fight poverty, inequality, and injustice,” he explains. “I like that everyone who works here has a mission bigger than themselves, and I hope to offer some form of service to this cause.” With English, Spanish, and French being the official languages of the UN, Andrews is also able to apply the Spanish language skills he gained as a missionary to benefit his work. “It all comes full circle,” he says.

As Andrews trains UN leaders to make a difference, he remains committed to the principles of ethics and service that he learned as a student at BYU Marriott. “I’ve run into decisions in my career that have forced me to make the tougher choice of being ethical, along with choices to take credit or give credit where it’s due,” he says. “Ultimately, nothing happens in a vacuum, and any success I’ve had is in large part because of the incredible mentors in my corner and the outstanding education I received at BYU Marriott.”

BYU Marriott HRM alum Kelly Andrews
BYU Marriott HRM alum Kelly Andrews. Photo courtesy of Kelly Andrews.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kenna Pierce