Hello!  My name is Karen Thies…oh wait, sorry, Karen Hartzman!  I got married just 3 months ago and I am still getting used to my new last name.  After getting married in February, I had almost everything I could have hoped for: a wonderful husband, a new house, a cute puppy, a great family, etc, etc.  But one thing was missing…an enjoyable job with great people that would challenge me every single day.   Today however, without hesitation, I can definitely say I have found that at Gap Intelligence as a Research Assistant.

Although I have only been at Gap for a short time, I can already tell you three things about it.  One, it is in fact enjoyable.   I enjoy getting up and going to my new job every day-thank goodness!  Two, it was quickly apparent that I am working with great people.  Everybody has been so welcoming and everyone is so intelligent.   I have never seen a collective group that has such an outstanding work ethic as a whole.  Three, without a doubt, my new job is certainly challenging every single day-more than I ever thought possible.  I remember being asked in my interview how much I knew about Excel and responding that I thought I was fairly comfortable with what it could do.  I can tell you now that I could not have been more wrong.  It turns out to be an amazing tool that I have hardly even begun to understand and grasp but I am anxious to learn so much more.

The journey that led me to Gap is an interesting one.  I am originally from the beautiful state of Colorado.  I was born and raised in Durango and attended my first year of college there at Fort Lewis College.  I played on the basketball team and after a year at FLC I transferred to the University of Nebraska Omaha to play my remaining three years and graduated with a degree in Business Marketing.  I then went to Arizona State University to be a graduate assistant coach for the women’s basketball team while earning my master’s degree in Liberal Studies.  After graduation, I went back to UNO to be a full-time assistant coach for my alma mater.

However, less than a month before moving back to Omaha, I took a trip from Arizona to San Diego to visit a friend and happened to meet my future husband.  I followed through with my plan to move back to Omaha as he went on deployment with the US Navy, but after he got back to his home station here in San Diego, I just had to move out here to be with him.  Last July when I arrived, I started working at a fitness gym and coaching high school basketball at La Jolla High.  Recently, I decided that I was ready for a career move and was lucky enough to find Gap Intelligence.  I got my feet wet fast with the exciting inaugural GapCon Expo and have been learning quickly ever since.  And, now that I have the right job, it looks like I have everything I could hope for!

Oh and one last thing, …GO BRONCOS!!!