Nicole Kor graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in May with a Management Information Sciences (MIS) degree and “no relevant work experience.” By the beginning of July, Kor had landed a consulting engagement at one of the Twin Cities’ largest companies. She works through Boom Lab, a Twin Cities company that specializes in training and placing entry-level consultants.
“I was always into techie stuff,” Kor recalled. “When I was 12 I was looking up HTML because I wanted to change the background on my MySpace profile.” A friend suggested she might enjoy the MIS major. “I was reading the list of classes and I thought, ‘I would love this’.”
Although database design and administration was her favorite college course, Kor didn’t think she’d be able to land a job in that field. “It’s usually harder to get into that out of college. That’s why Boom Lab was perfect. They said, ‘We’ll put you where you belong’.”
Although her official title is “Business Analyst,” in her current role, Kor said, “I do reporting, which is sort of like data analysis. Finance and HR people will tell me, ‘I need a report,” and I go in and write it. I’m already writing my own reports, taking on my own responsibility.”
Now that Kor has corporate experience on her résumé, will she stay in consulting or look for a full-time position? “I went into it thinking this was my stepping stone to a permanent position. Now I’m seeing all this opportunity that comes with consulting. I’m only three months in, and I’m being put on new projects that could open new doors. Either would be great. It’s a good thing I love both of them and have to pick one. ‘To be continued,’ I guess.”
What has surprised you about working in a big corporation?
I thought it would be more cold, rigid, serious. Once you’re here, you realize everyone is just a normal person like you. People above you are reachable. You can read what the CEO says on the company website for employees. You feel so connected. It’s not just a cube farm.
Are you interacting with all three of the generations now in the workplace?
There are some young people here, but most of my team is much older. You can definitely see the differences in meetings — they have paper and pen, and we have our laptops. It’s amazing to see them adapt so well to technology. I was in a teleconference meeting — these people set it up themselves. It’s really cool to see that. I’m so used to helping my parents with email.
What’s been the hardest thing for you to adjust to?
The learning curve. I personally would rather just know something than learn it. That’s the generation — we’re used to Googling the answer. I’m so impatient that I feel like I’m a slow learner. I’m not — I’m a quick learner. I just have a hard time saying, “I need to memorize this.” That’s part of the Boom Lab training that helped a lot — learning the stereotypes of your own generation.
What’s the fun part of the job?
Solving problems, doing things on my own, doing things that matter. I’m so used to doing mock projects. Here, I’m doing real things. Someone will say “I need this by the end of the day.” I do it, and I get an email saying, “Thanks so much.” It’s just the best feeling.