Protiviti Rolls Out Foundations — an Innovative Program for Entry-Level Hires

Consultants team to deliver meaningful solutions for the complex business problems that organizations face.  Experience tells us that no one competency is enough to solve today’s complex business problems.  That’s why we focus on developing individuals who are well-rounded and versatile – individuals who can lead in the future marketplace.

In 2019, Protiviti is innovating the entry level hiring model by launching Foundations, a program that will enable our consultants and interns to develop through a customized set of experiences during their first two years at Protiviti. These experiences emphasize consulting, technology and innovation, data and analysis, business operations knowledge, and relationship-building skills to round out a new hire’s successful transition into the consultant career path.

We had a chance to sit down with Executive Vice President of Global Solutions, Cory Gunderson, who is one of the creators of Foundations, to understand more about this exciting shift in our business.  Cory graduated from DePaul University and resides in Chicago with his wife, Kim, and their children.

cory & fam
Cory & his family.

Get to Know Foundations

What inspired our leadership team to create and launch Foundations?

“In looking at our strategy for 2019 and beyond, we wanted to recognize that the business world is changing rapidly, and the consultant of the future needs to have a wide variety of skillsets.  They must be knowledgeable and deep in their chosen area of expertise, but also be versatile in other capacities and skillsets. As we talked about that, we thought the Foundations program would be a great way to enable our development of those kinds of leaders.”

What advantage does Foundations provide to someone entering our workforce as a student or recent graduate?

“I think this program will help to facilitate our employees’ ability to find things they love and are passionate about, which may not always be congruent with what they thought they wanted to do coming out of school. They will get introduced to new experiences in a structured, personalized way, and this will make for a more enriching, rewarding career.”

Speaking of rewarding, what do you find rewarding about your career? Is there any application to Foundations?

“I’ve enjoyed the variety of clients who I have had the opportunity to work with and I love the people I’ve been able to partner with on those challenges. The level, caliber, and capability of people within our firm is exceptional. I love working with those high capacity teams to evolve our firm and solve client-facing challenges. I think Foundations will lend itself towards facilitating that and providing our people with a wide variety of situations where they can help solve problems. Frankly, it will also expose them to individuals that they may not have otherwise encountered and give them a chance to build a really great network early in their career.”

How can our readers embrace innovation in their careers?

“Innovation is an important element of a career. One of our three values as a firm is innovation, and I think that ties in to a thirst for knowledge and an inherent curiosity that we want our people to have. As you start your career, challenge traditional ways of doing things. At Protiviti, we want our team members to bring good ideas to the table. They don’t have to be transformational or monumental ideas to bring value, they can be incremental improvement opportunities. If we can move a foot at a time, you then look back over a period of time, and you’ve come hundreds of miles, and that’s pretty compelling. So, I encourage people to embrace innovation and embrace continuous improvement and curiosity to question, look and learn new things.”

Get to Know Cory

First Job? “My first job was back in high school as a video rental store clerk, which might be a foreign concept in today’s terms, but we used to have to go to a store to rent a video cassette. This is pre-DVD and pre-streaming and I did that for a while. It was fun! You got to meet a lot of people and got to see the new releases early but a very different model than what it is today.”

Is there anywhere else that you grab inspiration from? “I love to read and I actually love looking at Wikipedia. I don’t have one particular source, but I love reading about new things. Any book by Patrick Lencioni, for example – he has written a number of great books on how to optimize business.”

What is your superpower? “I would say I don’t have one. I just try to go out and do the best I can every day, and if you happen to score a touchdown, you hand the ball to the ref and act like you’ve been there before and go and try to do it again!”

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