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Tony Burdett

University Relations Leader  |  Atlanta, Georgia


Tony Burdett

University Relations Leader  |  Atlanta, Georgia

Could you begin with a brief overview of your background and journey to NCR VOYIX?

I graduated from Georgia Tech with an industrial engineering degree many years ago in 1995. 

I then charted my path into the recruitment industry and I’ve been on the general recruitment side and HR side for 20+ years. More recently, I would say my career came into focus. About 10 years ago, I was at a previous company where I oversaw all recruitment for entry level positions, but as things changed in my personal life, I shifted my focus and went into the space of University Relations. I was in that role at my previous job for a short time frame and then, I was approached with the opportunity to come to NCR VOYIX to help rebuild and rebrand the UR program. I took that journey on and that’s how I ended up where I am today.

What is it that excites you the most about your job?

For me, I have a personal stake in what I do. 

The personal thing that really changed in my life back at the time when I was at my previous job was losing both of my parents in a car accident over 10 days. After that time frame, I made the decision to give back and honor my parents. One of these opportunities was obviously working with students back on campus. So what keeps me going every day is the opportunity to engage with people like yourself. Whether I hire someone or just interact with someone, I want to put them on a better path to accelerate their journey. For me, hearing the countless stories from university hires about the opportunities this opened for them and seeing that impact is why I enjoy waking up every single day and continue loving my job.

“Whether I hire someone or just interact with someone, I want to put them on a better path to accelerate their journey.”

What do you look for the most in candidates/what sticks out to you the most?

That’s a great question. We keep it pretty simple. 

The biggest thing is looking for individuals who are willing to learn, grow and collaborate. If you have a lot of those skill sets, that’s going to be key. In your job, you’re going to have to learn how to work with and partner with someone, so you also need to have a thirst for learning and growing. When it comes to skill sets, I think it’s very straightforward for most companies but for us, I think the core aspect is around communication and collaboration. Those individuals who do that very well typically move forward through the process because we feel like they will be a very good fit for us.

What was the biggest difference you noticed between your previous job and coming to NCR VOYIX?

I actually think about this every day. 

I worked for two companies that both were created in Dayton, Ohio over 130 years ago. So it’s interesting to look at because there’s a lot of similarities when you look at 100+ year-old companies in regards to their history and survival. The biggest difference I did see was that my previous company was private and NCR VOYIX is public. So initially, right there, that’s a huge difference because it greatly impacts how the company is run. The big driver for me to come to NCR was also the technology focus and the global size of the company. NCR is much larger than my previous company so that global footprint and the challenge of understanding how each part plays a role on the company’s success was very interesting to me.

What did you learn during work from home and how did you stay motivated?

So to give some background to the story, when I came to NCR VOYIX, I was actually about to get married. 

So I came to NCR, worked for about seven days, then got married over the weekend and came right back. So I always reference my wife in everything I do because she is also a large part of the reason I came to NCR, through her support for me to take on this role. But where I’m going with this is that my wife has always worked from home. She’s always been on the consultative side, whereas I’ve always been on the opposite side, being on campus or in the office every day. So that was my initial mindset when WFH started and when that change came, it was kind of a shock to me. 

I wasn’t used to it, but my wife has always joked that you can do as much at home as you can in the office and actually wrap up your day earlier. She’s been right about that because, during work from home, I’ve been able to balance my work schedule to where I can get more done and finish things earlier in the day. From a UR perspective, we definitely had to shift things and adapt but I was shocked at how well we adjusted over time. What was most impressive to me and smoothed the transition was the critical technology we had at NCR to support the change to WFH. 

Outside of work where can we most likely find you or what are you most often doing?

The pandemic has definitely changed this... 

...but I would say the majority of time during the pandemic, you could probably find me watching TV or movies. My wife and I also meet with her niece every two weeks or so to play Uno, which is fun. I also love to exercise and get outdoors. I think my most peaceful time is getting out early in the morning to go run on the west side of the beltline, while listening to music and opening my mind to start the day.

Lastly, it goes without saying I am a huge Marvel and DC fan so I’m probably most likely to be wearing some type of clothing or watching something related to that on TV.

Finally, I love sports. Tennis is probably my favorite sport, as I played it for many years and I also love watching basketball and football, so I really miss being able to go to those sporting events. The final thing I’d say is my wife is a foodie. Because of the pandemic, we haven’t been out to restaurants in so long, so we’re really looking forward to getting back to that, hopefully soon.

“The growth that we’ve done has been astronomical from the time I walked in compared to where we are now, and we’re still growing.”

What growth/direction are you excited to continue seeing in the UR program?

The growth that we’ve done has been astronomical from the time I walked in, compared to where we are now, and we’re still growing. 

Overall, I think we will continue to see sustained growth in multiple areas, but I am most excited about building a strong community of UR hires. Thus, I think the next phase I’m excited about is helping to build this community and providing these growth opportunities for all of our UR hires to be able to maneuver within their current groups and across the organization. I would love to see UR hires consider staying at NCR VOYIX longer than they would have, due to lateral and vertical growth opportunities. This is the direction I would like to see the program continue moving towards because I think it will provide others with more excitement in the future for the development they are looking for, professionally.