At Koch, employees are encouraged to self-actualize and excel in a role that will help them make the most impact on their personal careers
, the company and society overall, regardless of one’s title or background.
To achieve this, we apply principles, such as self-actualization and comparative advantage, to empower employees to take on new challenges and bet on themselves. That’s certainly the case for Nic Buller, site finance lead at Koch Fertilizer’s plant in Beatrice, Nebraska.
Nic grew up outside of Wichita, Kansas, and earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Wichita State University. When he began his career
at Koch, he supported Koch Fertilizer’s back-end accounting and reporting goals.
Nic quickly learned working hard and building connections could lead to opportunities when least expected. After just a year and a half in his role, leaders recognized Nic had the skills to lead in a bigger way.
When approached by his supervisor with a new endeavor, Nic was surprised by the chance to take on a new opportunity so soon. The new role posed another challenge — relocating his family to Nebraska.
“I wasn't expecting to find a different role or even looking,” said Nic. “I think from the get-go the opportunity piqued my interest. It was the idea of relocating that took a little bit of time to mull over.”
With the help of both his current and previous supervisors, the role change quickly became a reality.
“From the start, we encouraged Nic to look into the role and decide if it was something he would be interested in,” said Leslie Sommers, director of finance. “He took on the challenge and ultimately has accelerated his own career path because he chose to take this risk and bet on himself.”
Nic mentioned the toughest part of the transition was on the personal side. The thought of moving away from his hometown wasn’t on his radar, but after meeting with multiple people on the team and taking a trip to the plant, he felt comfortable making the move with his family.
“The experience I've gained, even just in a year and a half, has been invaluable,” Nic noted. “From working with different groups, you can get a better perspective on what’s important to the plant’s success and you can help make some of those important decisions, which I find exciting and fulfilling.”
In his current role as a site finance lead, Nic leans on his previous experiences and relationships to collaborate with the on-site teams to evaluate the current business needs while also focusing on strategies for future transformation to achieve plant goals.
“Different people have strengths,” he noted. “One strength I could bring to the team was a fresh point of view, and so far, it has been extremely beneficial to bring in new tools and automation processes that I had gained in my previous role.”
Nic noted the support he received from his supervisors during the transition and how apparent it was his supervisors wanted what was best for him.
“Movement is ingrained in our culture,” he added, “and because it’s so common, the idea of trying something new is no longer scary, but rather exciting. The company supports you because they know how beneficial a change like this can be for everyone.”
When employees find their unique strengths and match them with a business need, it’s a win-win for all. Nic’s story shows us opportunities can come when least expected, when an employee is open to taking on new challenges for growth and is dedicated to finding their strengths.
Find your next career with Koch Fertilizer at https://jobs.kochcareers.com/.