February 14

From Classmates to Coworkers

Within a two-year span, five information systems classmates left BYU to start their careers—only to find themselves working side-by-side once again.

The first of the five to finish the program, 2014 graduate Morgan Robertson began his career with a startup business called Kyazma. He recruited Nick Mortenson, a 2015 graduate, to join him. From there they invited the rest of their comrades: 2015 graduate Chandler Egbert and 2016 graduates Aaron Sainsbury and Brett Peterson. Kyazma was later bought out by Eide Bailly, and the five now work closely together on the new development team.

“We are all on the same team, and understanding and communicating our strengths and weaknesses with others helps us to work more efficiently,” says Robertson, the team’s technical architect. “That’s something we learned at BYU: you don’t have to be the one who does everything; you can utilize other people’s strengths for the best efficiency.”

Mortensen, now a team manager, tries to apply this principle every day. Although managing his peers and other longtime employees of Eide Bailly is uncomfortable at times, he humbly acknowledges his role to help those around him.

“I try to manage in such a way that it is my job to make sure their jobs are successful,” Mortensen says. “In a way I work for them and will do anything to make sure they are successful.”

These alumni credit their strengths and skills to the education they received in the BYU information systems program.

“The IS program is amazing. It positioned me and everyone else on the team to succeed,” Mortensen says. “We don’t have easy jobs, but it gave us the hard and soft skills to be successful right after graduation.”

The IS program teaches the ins and outs of coding and software, but Egbert says his biggest takeaway from his time at BYU was to work with integrity.

“I’ve learned that I need to be completely honest in everything I do, even if it’s inconvenient or may make me look bad,” Egbert says.

The former classmates are excited to see where their careers will take them, but they are also grateful for the opportunity to work alongside one another.

“I have no concern about the capabilities or the educational preparation that any of these guys have had,” Egbert says. “I know the exact program they went through. I know how hard they were pushed, what they accomplished, and that they are very capable of the work that we have to do. A lot of confidence comes from knowing they went to BYU.”