People

2018 30 Under 35 Profile: Kory Jacobson

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Kory Jacobson, 34

Kory Jacobson
34
Alliance Inventory Planning Supervisor; Border States Electric

 

Kory Jacobson had worked in various jobs before hearing about the electrical industry.

“But I really hadn’t figured out quite where I was going to go with my career,” he explained. “My mother in law actually worked at Border States and one day she sent me a job description for an opening. I read about Border States as a company, really liked what I saw, and applied.”

He started at Border States in 2014 as a purchasing specialist.

“Prior to that I really never thought about the electrical industry,” he said. “But until you actually get into this industry, you really have no idea what it’s all about.”

Not that Kory hit the electrical industry ground and started running right away. Far from it, he explained. As with virtually all newcomers to the industry, he found himself a bit overwhelmed initially.

“I remember very vividly my first week, when I went home that Friday night, my head just hurt,” he laughed. “My first impression was just kind of getting into it and learning all about the products and the vendors. Everything that’s thrown at you at the beginning is very overwhelming.”

What got him through those first weeks was his own work ethic combined with how welcoming his Border States colleagues were, Kory explained.

“You have a lot of people who are dedicated to helping you get through it, and are willing to help you and teach you,” he explained. “They were so willing to get you to learn and get you involved in the products. That was the best thing that I had when I first started. All you have to do is ask the questions and they’re so willing to help.”

As he progressed at Border States, Kory started in the company’s leadership development program, its Leadership Exploration and Professionalism (LEAP) program.

“It was really where I kind of started turning the corner in my career, understanding my career paths a little better and how this is exactly where I wanted to be,” Kory explained. “You have people come in and help you with your leadership skills. What we really focused on more is our weaknesses. We understood our weaknesses and our strengths. It was just a huge learning experience where we got to explore who we were as leaders and then we set our own path to make ourselves better.

His current title is alliance inventory planning supervisor.

“I have a team of three and we work alongside our purchasing department. Our job is to understand our customers’ expectations and then set an inventory strategy for them and deliver them a customized, tailored experience for their inventory,” Kory explained.

Kory and his wife, Samantha (who also works at Border States) have two children: Eli, 7 years old, and Olivia who is 5 years old.

“One of the things we really enjoy is bike riding with our kids during the summertime. We will pack up the bikes and go find some trails where we can go bike riding,” Kory said. “Our kids are also very involved in soccer as well as gymnastics, so that keeps us pretty involved throughout the week.”

 

Q. What advice do you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?

A. I would say my biggest advice is to not be afraid to ask questions, anywhere and everywhere you go. Always ask the questions that you have. It’s really the only way you’re going to learn and show that you’re very interested. Everybody here is very willing to help you learn. They just don’t know what you don’t know. So you need to let them know what you’re not sure about and what you don’t know. You’ll start to learn a lot of things about the industry and the business.

Q. You and many in the electrical industry seem genuinely enthusiastic about your work and about the industry overall? Why do you think that is?

A. I think it comes from when you start to get a sense of really how involved and how much it takes to generate and distribute the electricity that powers the world.

We make a really big impact on the lives of many people. I’m involved in our storm team. So when there are winter storms and power goes out, we assemble and we work as much as we can at getting the product to the guys out in the field and making sure that they have what they need to get power restored.

Just having that understanding of how big and ingrained the electrical system is within the United States is, I think, what gives you that kind of sense of pride in knowing that you are working alongside those people, giving them the supplies they need to power everything.

 

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Joe Nowlan  is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and author. He can be reached at jcnowlan@msn.com.

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