This story is published in UNO Business, the college’s annual magazine. View the 2017 edition here.
Brevan Jorgenson is busy — and that’s exactly how he likes it. When he’s not sitting in classes at the Peter Kiewit Institute, he’s walking the art-adorned hallways of Mammel Hall, helping with a little bit of everything. Technology consulting, moving furniture and managing the building’s digital signage are all in a day’s work.
“I’ve worked my way up the ladder,” said Jorgenson, 22, referring to his tenure at the UNO College of Business Administration, where his customer service skills match his technical know-how, making him a rare breed indeed.
He started as the lead lab consultant, and now he’s managing seven student workers in CBA’s operations department.
As a technical consultant, he serves as the primary point of contact for the Jack and Stephanie Koraleski Commerce and Applied Behavioral Laboratory, home to a host of biometric research technology such as eye tracking and facial expression recognition.
Jorgenson also works with community members who use Mammel Hall as an event space, assisting with technology needs during meetings, conferences and other functions.
“I’ve never been in a work environment that’s so involved with the community,” he said.
Jorgenson spends the bulk of his time trouble-shooting technology issues and opportunities. Problem-solving is his favorite part of the job.
The technology setup at Mammel Hall is unique compared to other units on campus and even at other universities, Jorgenson said. “I’ll spend months researching an issue. Once you finally fix it, that’s a really good feeling.”
Growing up, Jorgenson spent time tinkering with his dad’s computers. “I was always taking them apart, clicking things and messing them up,” he said, surmising that these experiences likely sparked his interest in, and comfort with, technology.
When the time came to choose a college major, Jorgenson briefly considered a career as a pediatrician or physician assistant. But then he realized his dislike for science labs.
“I just stuck with tech stuff because it was easy for me,” he said. “I do enjoy it — a lot more than labs.”
After a brief stint in computer engineering, he switched his major to IT innovation and has never looked back.
In March, Jorgenson received a taste of fame when he found his name published in the MIT Technology Review.
“I expected a picture and a quote,” he said. Instead, he was surprised to see the story centered on him. The headline: “How a college kid made his Honda self-driving for $700.”
The story sparked dozens more, including a feature on a local TV news station, and led to speaking opportunities at the Drone Focus Conference in Fargo, North Dakota, and TEDxMileHigh in Denver, Colorado.
Building a solid resume and a name for himself, Jorgenson plans to graduate in May. He eventually wants to earn a graduate degree, but not right away.
“I don’t plan on leaving CBA any time soon,” he said. “I wake up every morning looking forward to coming to work.”
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