INSPIRING Be Inspired & Cori Stewart ,

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Be Inspired & INSPIRING
Cori Stewart, 2015 OM&IS Alumnus
Associate Consultant at NxtTeam Inc., Schaumburg, IL
Hometown: Mendota, IL
Quick Career Bio
After I graduated in May 2015, I
began my career as an associate
consultant for NxtTeam Inc., which is a
small IT company based in Schaumburg.
My area of focus is business intelligence,
primarily data analytics and reporting in
the healthcare industry. I’m very excited
to work for a small company where my
work is helping direct the future of my
company and I have the opportunity to
be exposed to many different aspects
of the business. During my first two
months at NxtTeam, I was in training at
headquarters to sharpen my database
skills and learn how to use a variety of
reporting and data visualization tools.
In September, I started working onsite for my first client in Evanston, IL.
Describe your future-self,
10-20 years forward.
In a way, I think about
this question quite a bit. I
commonly refer to “FutureCori’” when talking about
my life down the road.
In terms of my career, I
What makes NIU Business
uncommon?
NIU’s College of Business has so
much to offer, but one part that had a
large impact on my college experience
was the Social Entrepreneurship
program. During my sophomore year,
I decided to check out the Social
Impact Summit and I was hooked. The
Summit showed me a different side of
business that strives to help fix some
of the world’s largest problems, such
as poverty and hunger. In the next
semester after the Summit, I began
the Social Entrepreneurship minor
and joined NIU CAUSE (the social
entrepreneurship organization with
the awesome pizza…it stands for the
Collegiate Association of Unreasonable
Social Entrepreneurs). I learned a ton
and met some truly inspiring people. I
never expected to learn about changing
the world for the better, especially in a
College of Business, but now I couldn’t
image my college experience without it.
Describe an event or activity
that really helped you grow or
that changed your perspective.
This is something I preach and try
to practice as much as possible. Go
abroad. Don’t just go on a vacation, but
actually plan to experience a different
culture. I’ve been fortunate enough to
study abroad three times in college.
Two times the trips had a focus in
social entrepreneurship. Each trip I
learned something new about the world
and about myself. The best way I can
describe it is that the way we live only
teaches us a narrow scope of what the
whole world is actually like. When you
physically go somewhere and immerse
yourself in the culture, you not only
understand it better, but it changes
the way you see your own life. Think
of it as your vision getting sharper
even though you didn’t know it was
blurred. Through traveling I met many
people who live in what I considered
to be some of the poorest conditions
but they are truly happy and grateful
for everything they have. Not only was
this extremely humbling, it also helped
me reevaluate my own priorities. If
you’re a student and happen to be
reading this and thinking “Yeah, but I
can’t afford it,” you’re mistaken. NIU is
FULL of resources at every turn (trust
me, I took advantage of many of them).
Tell us your “WHY?”
Someone once told me to try
to live an interesting life. Every day
may not be the most exciting, but
because of that advice, I consciously
go out of my way to follow my own
interests. I love knowing that there is
so much the world has to offer; so
many places to go, so many things
to learn, and so many opportunities
NIU Business…Where the Classroom Meets the Business World | 2
Northern Illinois University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. Produced by authority of the State of Illinois. www.niu.edu 46422 11/15
think my future self would say to take
everything as a learning opportunity.
At this point, most of the people I’m
working with have more experience
than I do, so why not learn everything I
can? On a more personal note, I HOPE
my future self would also tell me to
remember (at times) that I am in my 20s.
Focus on my career but remember that
life is short and that I need to make time
for my friends and family before I get
even more things piled onto my plate.
are today, and I would bet many of us
have had someone who helped us do
so. Maybe one day Future-Cori will
inspire someone to keep going, the
way so many others have inspired me.
Northern Illinois University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. Produced by authority of the State of Illinois. www.niu.edu 46312 10/15
to be successful. Knowing that I’m
completely in control of my own life
keeps me motivated. Each and every
one of us has had to overcome some
sort of struggle to get to where we
NIU Business…Where the Classroom Meets the Business World | 3