My Strive Story: Nora Willgren

Introducing our ‘My Strive Story’ Interview platform, where we sit down with members from our different teams within the organization to find out where they came from, why they chose Strive, and what makes their experience special.

Strive Consulting wouldn’t be the company it is without the inspiring group of employees who make up our workforce. We pride ourselves on hiring individuals who bring a diverse group of skills and backgrounds to the table, which set our organization up for success.

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Nora Willgren, and I’m a Manager in Strive’s Management Consulting practice. I’m originally from Helsinki, Finland by way of Marietta, GA, but I’ve called Chicago home for over 10 years! My husband and I are new parents as of last year, and our nine-month-old daughter is definitely now my favorite person, although our pup Bowie likes to remind us that he’s actually our first kid!

What attracted you to Strive?

I was initially drawn to Strive because of the culture and the breadth of professional growth opportunities. I knew I was looking for a local company with a tight-knit culture and space for me to learn new things. The more people I met through the interview process, the clearer it was to me that Strive is full of smart, driven, and yet down-to-earth people. Every person also seemed to have their own story of growth to share, which made me particularly excited for what that might look like for myself.

What keeps you at Strive?

Though the things that first brought me to Strive have held true, what I’ve found keeps me here is the incredibly supportive and thriving entrepreneurial atmosphere.

I feel like I’ve been able to learn and grow, not only because I’m given stretch opportunities, but because even if I’m stretching myself, I’m set up for success – both through a steady layer of support and an inherent understanding of my skills and abilities. I give a lot of credit to our very hands-on, people-oriented approach; we’re able to support and encourage our people because we prioritize staying in the loop and understanding individual goals.

Strive’s essence also feels like a start-up to me in a lot of ways. Even though I’m a consultant and my day-to-day work is at the client, I feel like much of my own growth can be attributed to the opportunities I’ve had outside of the day-to-day to stretch new and different muscles. Strive really encourages folks to identify, solve for, and run with ideas – there’s always room for us to keep improving. And with that growth mindset, we’re all empowered to take ownership of making Strive the best company it can be, one improvement, initiative, or person at a time.

One particularly meaningful activity that this empowerment has enabled for me is a focus on community engagement – not only as an individual, but also in determining how Strive can both best support our community partners as well as provide our people with meaningful ways to volunteer their time, expertise, or resources. We’re continuing to learn and grow in this space, but I’m proud to work for a company where we keep evolving to figure out how to give back to the communities we work and live in – that’s hugely important and rewarding for me personally.

What stands out to you from the last year?

Two words: baby and pandemic… talk about highs and lows! Those two events have obviously had an enormous impact on my life, both personally and professionally.

From the pandemic-perspective, I’ve seen Strive navigate these unprecedented times as a company and come out even smarter, even more tight-knit, and even better positioned to help our clients than before.

As a new mom, I’ve personally experienced incredible support on top of the overall space Strive already works to provide for women as a collective. I wouldn’t have expected anything different from Strive, and yet I’m incredibly grateful for the difference it’s made for me as I started this working parent journey – and during the middle of a global pandemic, to boot!

What are you looking forward to this year?

Here in Chicago, it feels like things are starting to look up – vaccines are flowing, tulips are growing, business is picking up and I think Strive is just getting started. With every conversation I have, I hear about more ways we’re bringing our experience and insights to our clients or new and clever ways we’re adding value. It’s an awesome thing to be part of, and I can’t wait to see our Consulting practice (and company overall) continue to grow this year!

Interested in joining Strive?

Here at Strive Consulting, we foster an active, innovative culture, providing the coaching, mentoring, and support our employees need to work at the top of their game and succeed personally and professionally. Check out our Careers page for open roles and opportunities within Strive or submit your resume below! We’re hiring and we’re dedicated to being your partner, committed to success.