Gaining a Competitive Edge – Nicole Ortega

Even before graduation from Meredith, Nicole Ortega, ’17, was in the enviable position of choosing from multiple job offers. She chose to accept a position as financial analyst for Cisco – and credits the School of Business’ “Career Tool Kit” with preparing her for job interviews.

“Students are required to create a resume, land an internship, participate in a mock interview, and more. Having these tools prior to my job search really prepared me to land this great opportunity with Cisco,” said Nicole.

The Career Tool Kit is unique to the Business School, but all Meredith students participate in similar career planning efforts through StrongPoints®.

Nicole also honed her strengths through her involvement with the Broyhill Business Fellows and two internships. The first internship came about when an alumna, a vice president of finance and accounting at MedThink, Inc., contacted two of her former business professors looking for an accounting intern. The faculty connected her with Nicole, who was looking for an internship. It was a perfect fit.

“As a finance and accounting intern I gained a lot of real-world experience and really enjoyed working for a Meredith alumna; I was offered the opportunity to continue working part-time as a staff accountant.”

The day after she completed her internship at MedThink, she began her second internship at LORD Corporation, where she worked in the tax department, assisting with audits.

Nicole also expanded her leadership and time-management skills, innovation, and ability to work well with others while at Meredith. She was active in Meredith’s Accounting and Finance Association, and co-chair of Class Day for 2017, a tradition associated with Commencement. In 2015, she organized a new event as part of the Big and Little Sis’ tradition, in which first-year students are paired with a junior “Big Sis’.”

“I saw a need for a more meaningful initial interaction between the Big and Little Sis’ and decided to organize a Big/Little Reveal. Organizing this 600+ person event was certainly a challenge but it was so gratifying seeing everyone truly enjoying their time with their Big/Little.”

As she prepares to graduate, Nicole feels confident that she’s ready to take on her new role at Cisco – and notes that the community she found in a women’s college environment helped her to build on her strengths.

“What I enjoy most about attending a women’s college is how supportive and encouraging everyone is of each other. The sense of community is overwhelming and we’re always looking for ways to make each other stronger.”

Learn more about studying accounting at Meredith

Story tags: