Nicole (nicknamed “Coles” by our British colleagues) started with work Group in October 2009. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a media background, she was interested in an advertising career, but she wanted to be part of something meaningful, somewhere she could really make an impact.
She found her passion at work. “I sort of stumbled across this company and it turned into a career,” she says. Employment branding was a world she knew little about, but she has turned it into her professional playground.
Her time at work has been engulfed with unforgettable memories, tremendous growth and amazing learning experiences. From her very first pitch in London where she made 25 senior investment bankers crack a smile through to traveling to six different countries, uncovering what makes a distinguished financial institution special and why the right people should work for them. Not to mention that time she almost severed her ring finger trying to cut an avocado and had to get a six hour surgery. “It’s my work wound,” she says. Not to worry – the finger is still intact, but the nerves are damaged, which makes bowling extremely difficult.
No, she did not sue. Yes, she still loves her job.
Nicole is a brand enthusiast. “I love Apple, but I don’t think they need help with their employment brand,” she says. Their proposition is the level of standard she wants all of her clients to aspire to. However, Apple is not the type of client she would want to work with. She likes a challenge. She wants to fix things. And she wants to do it all over the world.
She’s always been interested in the emerging markets of places like Africa, Latin America and Asia Pacific. “This world is becoming a more connected place and I want to help businesses globally tell their stories as employers,” she says. Helping organizations tell a consistent story and raise brand awareness in countries that don’t have the Internet or are just at the brink of developing their economies is what gets her out of bed in the morning.
So what is Nicole doing when she is not busy helping to build the U.S. business or providing strategic solutions to her client’s challenges?
She is checking off the countries in her NY Times copy of “Best Places to Visit.” In 2013, she spent 10 days in Croatia with her college friends and in 2010, she backpacked through Belize and Guatemala with one of her British colleagues. She’ll also take a last minute trip to escape Manhattan and visit her best friend in Colorado. Good thing JFK is a short cab ride away from her NYC apartment.
Adding more stamps to her passport is definitely part of Nicole’s future agenda, along with developing her professional career. As to what the next five years looks like – that picture is not yet painted. “My past four years have been full of development, growth, travel and laughs. I hope that’s a sign of what’s to come,” she says. Thanks to the magnetic quotes her dad buys her every holiday, she has a constant reminder of how to approach life when she looks at her refrigerator every morning – “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” So no matter what the future holds, she plans to do just that.
By Jacqueline Monti