Ask—Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain

PROVO, Utah – Jun 14, 2019 – Emily Codling knows what she wants and chases each enticing opportunity that comes her way. From running events in New York City to managing programs at Yale University, this BYU Marriott recreational management alumna accomplishes what she sets her mind to. The secret to living your dreams, she says, is asking for the opportunity to do so.

Codling grew up on center stage. Her mother was a show choir director, and Codling sang and performed under her mother’s encouragement as a child. Not only was she involved in theatre and choir, but as the oldest of five children, she was also looked to as an example at home. Embracing that role, Codling says, “I think about my expectations for myself, along with what expectations I want others to have of me. I have always analyzed how I affect other people." Understanding the influence she has on others fuels Codling’s desire to achieve her best.

When Codling was accepted to BYU, she quickly realized that she could make an impact in more places than simply at home or on stage. Her father, Dean Codling, had taken classes at BYU Marriott years earlier and believed that graduating from the school would be a challenging but rewarding endeavor for his daughter. With her father’s encouragement and mother’s support, Codling became involved with BYU Marriott and immediately found a home in the Women in Business club (WIB). “When I was first introduced to the club, I realized this is what I was supposed to do at BYU,” she says.

Joining WIB proved to be pivotal for Codling in more ways than one. She landed her first internship by going to a WIB event and asking what she could do to get involved with professional event planning. “The guest speaker said to me, ‘How about you come to New York City and help me with a big healthcare conference?’” she recalls. Codling accepted the offer and spent part of that summer organizing and carrying out large-scale events with Mentor Planning & Consulting Inc. “I got paid to do what I love in a city I love. It was incredible,” she says. Codling would return to the same internship the following year. Her experience in New York solidified her desire to graduate from BYU Marriott.

Performing still had a place in her heart, however. Codling split her time between business and theatre classes, planning to double major. Her network grew in these different realms, and she found a role satisfying both interests as a BYU Arts BRAVO! Series arts assistant.

While working an event, she met The King’s Singers, an a capella group based in England, where Codling had completed a study abroad two years before. The performers asked her what she planned on doing that summer. Eager to spend more time in the country she had come to love, Codling replied that she wanted to be a nanny for the baritone of the group, who had two young daughters. Unbeknown to Codling, he had been searching for a nanny, and she was hired on the spot. This meant she would have to forego the final semester of theatre classes she had planned to take that summer. Because she took the job and returned to England she couldn’t complete her major in theatre, but Codling says the sacrifice was worth the experience.

Codling graduated from the BYU Marriott recreational management program with a minor in theatre arts studies in 2017. Now that her BYU experience had ended, Codling was unsure of the direction she should take. "I felt like I was at a crossroads,” she says. Influenced by friends planning to move to Connecticut, Codling applied for a job at Yale University but wasn’t offered a position. She chose to intern in theatre management at a professional theatre company in Memphis, Tennessee.

Though Codling enjoyed her work there, she felt unfulfilled. However, during the first few months of her internship, Yale called. A representative asked her to come in for an interview, and Codling accepted a job with the university as the program coordinator for the School of Management. "I’ve lived in Connecticut for a year and a half now and I love my job,” she says.

Codling attributes her success in life to advice from her father, who taught her to always ask. “My dad understands how to look for and take advantage of an opportunity,” she says. “I was always taught there’s no harm in asking, and my education at BYU Marriott gave me the skills to know how and the opportunity to do so.” Codling explains that when she feels intimidated by asking for something she wants, she imagines how she would feel if the roles were reversed. “I would want to help,” she says.

With that mind-set, Codling has approached people and asked for opportunities throughout her life, leading her to where she is today. “It’s scary to tell someone what you want,” she says, “but I’ve had so many incredible opportunities because I just pushed myself out of my comfort zone.”

Codling pays her success forward through the relationships with those around her. She inspires her siblings and the students with whom she works to follow their dreams and succeed. "I've had crazy experiences that I wasn't planning or expecting,” she says. “I know that asking for opportunities can be hard or scary, but look how happy it has made me. I know that if I can do it, you can too.”

BYU Marriott Alumna Emily Codling
BYU Marriott recreational management alumna Emily Codling. Photo courtesy of Emily Codling.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Erika Magaoay