Why Qualtrics – Katie Fortner – Analyst, Technical Account Manager – Provo
What is your ‘why’? How does Qualtrics connect to your ‘why’?
In everything I do, I am passionate about helping people solve problems, remove barriers, and reach their full potential. Qualtrics has been exhilarating in that sense because I’m greeted with exciting challenges from my clients and coworkers nearly every day. There is always a problem to solve and I want to help you solve it!
What attracted you to Qualtrics in the first place?
Prior to working at Qualtrics, I had spent a long time in school earning my Ph.D. I didn’t want a career in academia though and was looking for a chance to change my career path without effectively starting over. Qualtrics was an attractive choice because it offered the opportunity to grow my skill set exponentially in a very short period of time. On top of gaining new skills, I loved that my future manager started exploring what a long term career path at Qualtrics would look like for me, considering my unique skill set, before I was even offered a job!
You are not originally from Utah. Can you tell us your story of moving here?
When I told my friends and family that I was hired by Qualtrics and would be moving to Utah, the most common reaction was, “…Utah? Really? Why?” I can understand that a bit, considering I had just spent the better part of eight years in Chicago. It’s an exciting city and one I grew to love deeply during my time in graduate school; however, I didn’t hesitate one minute to accept the offer from Qualtrics and move to Utah. Maybe it was because I had moved so much growing up that another move seemed normal. Or it could have been the opportunity to join the Qualtrics rocketship at a pivotal time in its growth. Perhaps it was my love of the mountains and my long-held desire to learn how to snowboard. Whatever it was, I knew that Utah was going to be my new home. So, a few months after accepting my offer and a week after defending my dissertation, I packed my 15-year-old Honda Accord to the brim and made the three-day drive to Provo. In the nearly three years since, I can say that Utah has indeed become my home with Qualtrics being the key factor.
What surprised you most about working at Qualtrics?
I really didn’t know what to expect of the culture at Qualtrics. I knew how it was portrayed in the promos, during my interviews, and during my on-site experience. But what I was pleasantly surprised to realize is that it is truly and exceptional place to work. I’ve never seen so many extraordinarily kind, intelligent, hard-working, and driven people in one place, and I had just come from one of the best universities in the country. More amazingly, these people were just a part of Qualtrics University, our support team. As I grew in my role and began collaborating with Product Managers, Engineers, Customer Success, and more, I found that the same characteristics of our support team typified everyone at Qualtrics. I had come in with the mindset that, “If I make friends at work, great; but if not, I’m okay with that,” because past roles involved some very difficult personalities. Now, I can honestly say that I genuinely like everyone I work with. Our hiring bar is truly astounding that we can bring so many amazing people to the Qualtrics family.
What are your aspirations in career/life?
Everyone who knows me knows that I am an avid gardener. It’s pretty much all I talk about. But what a lot of people don’t know is that I want to turn my love of gardening into a secondary “career.” Career is in quotes because I won’t actually make money doing what I want to do. My dream is to open a community restaurant that serves all members of the community, regardless of their ability to pay (in the vein of what Jon Bon Jovi is doing in New Jersey). I would grow as much of the produce as possible and source everything else locally and sustainably. The idea is to ensure that all members of the community always have access to a healthy meal, the love and support of their neighbors, and the preservation of their dignity. There is a lot more to that vision, but for me, growing food for myself and others is the centerpiece.
What is your top #LifeHack?
Never let fear get in the way of asking for something you need or want. Let the other person say “No” instead of making that decision for him or her. If your request is denied and it is important to you, you’ll find another way. And I think you’d be surprised how many people there are out there who are willing to help you out!
|Katie is an Analyst, Technical Account Manager at Qualtrics in Provo. She holds two Bachelor degrees from Ohio State University in Psychology and Communications and a PhD in Philosophy in Communication Studies from Northwestern University.|