Alumnus Explains Importance of Campus Interactions

Although athletics was the reason Forrest Barnes ’85 came to Pacific, he stayed because of the opportunities and interactions he was able to benefit from.

“Pacific provided the opportunity to meet, experience and interact with many different people. Not just students, but people like Interior Secretary James Watt, Columnist Bill Buckley, my professors and different guests who spoke on campus,” said Barnes. “It helped me to grow from a farm boy to someone who business people would hire and want on their team.”

Now as the division president at Palm Harbor Homes, one of the nation's largest marketers of factory-built homes, Barnes sets an ideal example of where hard work and honesty will get you.

“I was able to move up in the company by recognizing that people, products and processes made a difference,” said Barnes.

Starting in 1995, Forest Barnes went from sales manager to division president at Palm Harbor Homes. He admits that growing the company is the most rewarding part of his job, but doing what you say you are going to do and being a person who follows through is what Forest said is the “key take away” from his career thus far.

Barnes discussed how important it is for undergraduate students to form connections with potential employers.

“Take advantage of the opportunity to interact. You have the opportunity to attend events and gain the personal interaction skills that develop when you are involved,” said Barnes. “Put down the electronics and experience what the university offers, as it goes by fast.”

Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014