Nicole Martens

Recruiting Manager - Denver, CO.

I was born in Overland Park, KS and spent 18 years there before I went to college. While I loved growing up there and my whole family is still based there—I was ready to take a leap of faith and head to a big city.

As far as who influenced me the most growing up, I would say that that was definitely my family and I know that’s kind of an easy answer, but I was really close with them and especially my dad. My dad was an entrepreneur and started his own business from nothing. He taught me how to work really hard and for the things that I wanted in life and to not let anything hold me back. He didn’t go to college, so he pushed me to go to give me more opportunities and do the things that he didn’t get to do, which I really admired.

I had a lot of encouragement from my family and a lot of grace for trying things and figuring out what I wanted to do. My family was also really involved in my athletic career, so I had a lot of “cheerleaders”. My parents came to all my volleyball games and that was rewarding which made it so much more fun. Volleyball taught me a lot about how to compete and be a teammate, how to work really hard for something, how to manage a schedule/traveling and how to give something my all.

A lesson that I learned from my childhood is to trust myself and believe in myself. Sometimes I worried thinking maybe I didn’t make the right or best decision, because I was scared to fail. So I had to learn how to trust myself, know what I’m capable of and that I need to be confident in my abilities to be able to perform and do all the things that I wanted to accomplish either in sports or in school.

Randomly enough, I decided to go to the University of Arkansas with no ties to that school. I didn’t want to stay in state for college and needed to get out of my comfort zone. Arkansas offered in-state tuition to certain states at that time based on your ACT score so that was a challenge I wanted to take on. Plus, it wasn’t too far from home!
So, I went and visited, and it was really different from my hometown. It was really green and beautiful, outdoorsy with gorgeous landscapes and had a lot more things to do like hike and float, so I was totally sold. I really loved the “southern, colonial charm” of the old buildings on campus, the people and the different way of life.

I really loved my time at the University of Arkansas. I studied HR and Marketing. I was in General Business when I first got started and then decided to go the HR/Marketing route, leaning into people and the creative aspect of business. I was involved in the HR club and was the President of it for the last few months of my college career. I was also part of AOII sorority. It kept me involved in sports and a lot of activities on campus, as well as helped me meet the best friends that I still have in my life today.

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