Nathan Magnuson, '05
Career Management Consultant
When Nathan Magnuson, ’05, graduated from Bryan with a degree in business administration, he moved back home to Kansas City with $1,000 in the bank and no job. In a race against time, he posted his resume on Career Builder and was hired by PNC Bank as a financial analyst. Since then, he's served in the Army Reserve both at home and in Iraq, putting the lessons learned in the Bryan classroom to real world use.
“I was with PNC for a total of two years, and realized that [sitting in a cubicle] was not my thing,” said Nathan.
In the meantime, Nathan had joined the Army Reserve because he found a job in Civil Affairs Operations that included more hands-on business work than just sitting at a desk crunching numbers. He told the recruiters that he would only join if he got the job and received a specific signing bonus and start date. He was given the job, and while working his cube job at PNC, Nathan did reserve training on the weekends and in the summer.
In 2007, he was deployed to Iraq where he worked with a provincial reconstruction team with the state department and U.S. aid.
“I worked with a business advisor to a few Iraqi NGOs,” said Nathan. “We worked with the directors of the NGOs to clarify their goals and develop effective measurements to show the U.S. Aid organization where the money was going. We sought to help the Iraqi NGO directors tell an effective story of what they were doing with the aid money they received – showing that the money was making a difference in the lives of the Iraqi people while growing their industries. We estimated that 2,500 jobs were created as a result of small business development and microfinance.”
Since returning from Iraq, Nathan has worked with a management firm in Washington D.C., where he spent two and a half years working with the firm on several different projects with the IRS, FBI, and DIA to change work-force development.
“We worked with the FBI to change the orientation of the entire organization from successful investigations to proactively stopping incidents like 9/11 from occurring in the first place,” said Nathan. “We worked with their HR team to rebuild the leadership program from scratch, and developed different training programs for leaders at every level so that every leader – executive or entry level – was prepared to perform and ready to lead.”
Nathan now applies his experience to external management consulting as he helps organizations become more effective.
“I hope to help my clients think more specifically about what they’re trying to accomplish, and what solutions will work for them,” he said. “Everyone’s a leader because everyone has a level of influence, but most people don’t start thinking about leadership until they encounter a problem, or something in their environment changes – then they start thinking about leadership a lot. I’m here to make leadership more accessible.”
Nathan currently works as a leadership coach and can be reached through his website where he writes about leadership and how it applies to day-to-day life.