Oskar Urquizo was a little over a year away from graduating from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in management information systems when he discovered an open operations control specialist role at artificial intelligence company Vorto.
At the time, he was studying remotely in Denver, where Vorto is headquartered. On a whim, he applied. Urquizo joined the team in February 2021 as a member of its first operations control cohort.
The role required he work 12 hours a day for seven days on, seven days off. He did it all while in school full time. But he wanted to ensure that pursuing a degree wouldn’t stop him from pursuing a career at the company.
“I rushed to finish my classes by the end of summer 2021 so I could stay in Denver and keep working at Vorto,” Urquizo said. “I was in the class of 2022, so I worked at 10 times the speed to shave a year off of classes.”
What Vorto Does
Vorto created an AI-driven autonomous supply chain platform. The company’s mission is to help businesses be more economically and environmentally sustainable through a digital supply chain.
Upon graduating, Urquizo became Vorto’s first information services technician. In that role, he built Vorto’s Help Desk from scratch. Ten months later, he was promoted again to IT manager, and he oversaw all-things IT at Vorto.
In the nearly two years he worked at Vorto, Urquizo pushed himself to new heights, indicative of finishing three semesters of coursework in the time it takes most to complete two. Vorto pushed him, too. With the support of managers and an environment built for professional development, Urquizo soared.
Vorto set Urquizo up for a career in IT. One day, he hopes to launch his own IT firm that supports startups that don’t necessarily need a full IT department. Built In sat down with the former employee to find out how.
How did you grow professionally at Vorto?
As I transitioned from individual contributor to manager, I learned how to work cross-functionally in an organization, how to work underneath executives and how to manage projects with little to no guidance. I worked with consultants and vendors, and I made decisions that affected the company as a whole.
What makes Vorto a unique place to work from a professional development perspective?
At a startup, it is easier to move up the ladder, and you learn so much when you work at such a fast pace. We are changing the supply chain world, and everything is ambiguous and new. The work we do will change the organization for years to come.
How are managers involved in the career development of direct reports?
Managers meet one-on-one with team members and push their staff to raise the bar so that one day, you can be in their position. They also put a lot of trust in their teams.
How did your time at Vorto positively impact your professional and personal journey?
I learned a lot about the oil and gas industry and discovered what career path I want to take. I also met people from all over the U.S. and Mexico.