A man of engineering, Mshon Pulliam ’12 is taking his frame of thinking to the next level. For him, the title “industrial engineer” is just one of many he works under.
Pulliam is a residential key account manager at Georgia Power Company, managing Georgia Power’s relationship with 15 of the “top production builders” in the Metro Atlanta area. He helps with purchasing, land development and construction management to streamline the process for installing power to new, single-family subdivisions.
For Pulliam, earning a Bachelor’s in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering in 2012 taught him how to “continuously improve and add value to different businesses.” “What I really got out of engineering is it’s all about purpose and understanding the purpose behind what you’re doing,” Pulliam says. The first in his family to not attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Pulliam says he benefited from the Auburn experience.
“Auburn was a big deal because of the diverse environment and network of alumni there” Pulliam says. “Auburn alumni are some of the biggest reasons I do what I do. They have a big presence at Southern Company and have a big presence in business in general, especially in Atlanta now. ”As a way of giving back and cultivating the community of Auburn, Pulliam participates with the Auburn College of Engineering Young Alumni Council.
“Finding ways of getting young alumni engaged in that group, coming back to campus and speaking to the students each year has been awesome,” Pulliam says.
Pulliam is involved with the Harold A. Franklin society, a group dedicated to improve the minority male retention rate and to enhance academic, social and professional development of underrepresented male Auburn University Students.
Beyond Georgia Power and giving back to Auburn, Pulliam calls himself a “multipotentialite,” a phrase coined by TEDx speaker Emilie Wapnick that describes “an individual engaged in different businesses and ideals that adds value to their main goal.”
The key is using those experiences gained from multiple positions in varying sectors to your advantage. “That’s been a unique term for me, because I do a lot of things that may seem like that don’t correlate from working in energy at Southern Company as an engineer to working on the marketing side with photography.”
Pulliam’s sister is Keisha Knight Pulliam, known for her role as “Rudy Huxtable” on The Cosby Show, while his brother James “JP” Pulliam is the tour manager for Hip Hop artist-actor Ludacris. Despite his siblings’ popularity, Mshon Pulliam is paving his own way to success.
Pulliam picked up photography and videography when he was 18 years old, shortly after high school. “Initially, I found myself documenting my college experiences through pictures and short video clips; however, my passion developed as I began travelling the world.”
Even though Pulliam works for Southern Company, he’s had the opportunity to travel with his brother JP to London for Ludacris’ concert to shoot video footage. He’s also gained insight on the world of entertainment through his sister Keisha’s experience in works such as Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne.”
“I really got started by capturing other people’s lives,” Pulliam says.
Between travelling to different places and working within Atlanta, balancing the worlds of business and entertainment should bring challenges. “Balancing a corporate career [with Georgia Power] and photography is tough, but they definitely complement each other. The photo and videography projects I direct outside of work really give me energy and creativity to drive results and ideas when I’m at work.”
Pulliam found his breakthrough in focusing on the behind the scenes life of Ludacris’ tour. Pulliam travelled with his brother when on the road with Ludacris and documented shows and concerts and what would become the “Ludaverses” series, three promotional videos documenting the music side of Ludacris when people started to see him more as an actor than a rapper. His work earned him plenty of praise from people within the industry.
“That’s what really got my confidence up,” Pulliam says. “To feel like the quality was at a level that I could really do it on a major scale.”
Pulliam’s documenting process is simple — he starts with the end in mind and works backwards.
“I try to understand the target audience, mood and feel of a project, then pick a location that has the look and fit. It’s more than just bringing a camera and grabbing a few cool shots.” Pulliam records behind the scenes footage of Ludacris at the Georgia Swarm’s lacrosse game. For Pulliam, his most humbling experience on his journey of becoming a “multipotentialite” has been working with other photographers in the industry. “There is always something new to learn from people who know more than you. The key is to never stop learning. Continuous improvement is a concept I learned while studying Industrial Engineering at Auburn, and is something that has stuck with me over the years.”
One of his biggest goals is to be a creative director behind a brand that will “change the world,” like Tesla and Apple.
“I [want] to see how I can incorporate some of these things I know to really tell the story of energy one day even better. I would like to be creative director behind a brand that changes how we experience the world…whatever that is,” Pulliam states.