National University

Alumni with Inc. 5000 Companies

Shawn Krogsgaard of OpenSymmetry

Each year, Inc. magazine searches out America's fastest-growing privately held businesses and ranks them by the percentage of revenue growth. The list, called the Inc. 5000, includes a broad sampling of highly promising up-and-coming companies, which is often where the best job opportunities and career tracks are to be found.

National University actively sought alumni who are thriving in Inc. 5000 companies, and was fortunate to find Shawn Krogsgaard, senior director of operations at OpenSymmetry, ranked 995th in 2012. It is a mid-sized sales performance management and consulting services firm headquartered in Austin, Texas. Founded in 2004, its revenues have grown 317 percent in the three years on record, from $3.8 million in 2008 to $16 million in 2011. During that time, OpenSymmetry has hired 54 employees.

According to Krogsgaard, OpenSymmetry serves companies that require software for their sales force – often Fortune 500 companies with thousands of employees.

"These companies will go out to the market and ask 'What software will help us with this challenge?' We will come in on a six to 12-month project and get our clients up and running with data integration, dashboards and business intelligence," he said.

"In the past four years company growth "just kind of exploded," says Krogsgaard. "As with most companies there was a little bit of a dip in 2009, but ever since then we've been going gangbusters." OpenSymmetry now has a worldwide presence, with offices in London and Johannesburg and footholds in India, Kuala Lampur and Australia.

Krogsgaard, who graduated from National University with an MBA in 2003, was at the time working for Experian, a global information services group with operations in 41 countries. He certainly enjoyed the benefits of being employed with a large, established company, "but I wanted to ultimately be somewhere where I could have an impact and where my voice could be heard. I wanted a job where I could enjoy regular access to company leadership."

The founders of OpenSymmetry recruited Krogsgaard directly during its first year of business, and he is currently part of the executive team. He heads accounting, human resources, legal and office administration.

"We have an impressive growth plan and we're currently hiring," he says. "The company is seeking problem solvers, and a good candidate with a solid resume will always get a good look."

Interestingly, Krogsgaard says the one-course-per-month format at National University is "very synonymous" with a lot of the consulting work that OpenSymmetry does. "The cadence transfers well into the workplace," he adds.

National University alumni or students who have worked for various software vendors in the sales performance management (SPM) field and have experience with SPM software such as Callidus, Varicent, Xactly, Merced, Microsoft Platforms, or any home-grown commission payment systems, are encouraged to visit OpenSymmetry's careers page.