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GEM’s Gems September 2013 – Jen Martin

August 30, 2013

This month we are honoring Global Energy Management Program Alumna Jen Martin as a GEM’s Gem. Martin, 33, is a Financial Analyst at Kodiak Oil & Gas and member of GEM’s Advisory Council.

“When I started at Kodiak almost seven years ago, we had about 15 employees, and we now have almost 170,” Martin said. “Prior to and during the GEM program, I was establishing and managing our permitting operations. By the time I graduated from GEM, the company was growing, and there was a need for me to move back over to the finance side, so I took on the role of Financial Analyst. The GEM degree made me a more valuable asset to Kodiak because it provided me with a better ‘big picture’ of why and how we do what we do.”

The GEM Program thanks Martin for striving for excellence both inside and outside of the classroom.

Briefly describe your current role and responsibilities.

Most of the time, my job description could probably just read: “other duties as required.” In title, I’ve been Kodiak’s Financial Analyst for the past three years, but this has really encompassed investor relations, capital markets, corporate treasury, financial planning and analysis, financial reporting and SEC filings, and a lot of ad hoc projects for the executives and senior management. My primary focus today is on the corporate treasury side, dealing with our sixteen bank syndication and $1.5 billion credit facility.

How did the GEM program benefit you and your company? Were you promoted since you began the program? 

When I started at Kodiak almost seven years ago, we had about 15 employees, and we now have almost 170, so my job has continually evolved alongside the evolution of the company. Prior to and during the GEM program, I was establishing and managing our permitting operations. By the time I graduated from GEM, the company was growing and there was a need for me to move back over to the finance side, so I took on the role of Financial Analyst. The GEM degree made me a more valuable asset to Kodiak because it provided me with a better “big picture” of why and how we do what we do.

What were some of your favorite things to do during cohort weekends?

I think we tried it all. Rockies games, bowling, billiards, and of course finding different restaurants where we could eat, drink, and be merry. As sappy as it sounds, I really just enjoyed spending a little non-classroom time with my classmates and getting to know the group.

What were some of the things that you never forget to bring to cohort weekends? 

Chocolate covered espresso beans and snacks.

Please share a story about GEM that will entertain other students. 

So this one time… we went out for an evening of fun with most of the cohort and a few of our professors, and we played a friendly little game that resulted in nicknames for a few of us. I think mine is the only one that stuck. In order to protect the innocent (me) I’m really not at liberty to say any more than that.

Why did you choose the GEM program at CU Denver?

I didn’t want to go back for a generic MBA degree, and I didn’t want to be so focused in finance that I limited my own career options. I selected the GEM degree because I knew it would provide me with added knowledge in the different facets of the business world as well as a deeper understanding of the energy industry. The fact that it was a hybrid program sealed the deal since that meant I could work around my own schedule with the online portion but also gain a strong network of friends and colleagues with the quarterly weekends in Denver.

Has GEM changed your perspective? 

Absolutely. Before GEM, I knew nothing about the energy world outside of oil and gas. So, I gained an understanding of utilities, renewable energies, the economics of each type of energy, policy issues, and more. In addition, I gained a different point of view on the various roles within my own company, how they affect each other, how they interact, and I’m better able to communicate with people who are coming from a different background than mine.

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