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Meet Cory Day, a passion for relationships

A headshot of Cory with a design that reads: Kin+ Cory Day

Our name is intentional. “Kin” refers to family and “Carta” refers to maps. When together, we’re Kin + Carta — a group of connected makers, builders and creators, who come together everyday to help our clients build experiences and plot a clear path forward in today’s digital world. Carta is what we do, Kin is who we are.

Kin+ is a series that uncovers the experiences, stories and lives of the people who make our collective “Kin” exceptional.

At Kin + Carta, the values of connection, courage and compassion ground everything that we do. We intentionally work to remain deeply connected to one another, to our clients and to our ‘why’. We remain courageous amidst ambiguity and challenge. And we prioritize compassion in how we interact with and impact the world at-large.

When someone’s fully embodying a value, we celebrate them. That’s why we are so excited to be introducing you to Cory Day, Scrum Master, whose passion for relationships brings our value of connection to life. Cory joined Kin + Carta over one year ago, and has since made an impact on his teams, his clients and the culture of our firm.

A headshot of Cory with a design that reads: Kin+ Cory Day

It’s my firm belief that no one’s the sum of one moment. Every experience has the opportunity to make you a better, more thoughtful, well-rounded human, and I’d say that all moments that I’ve been a part of have taught me something. However, it’s interesting to look back at your life, and see what’s connected everything together. Do you want to know what that is for me? It’s being surrounded by really nice people. And, intentionally fostering relationships and building communities of friendship. 

I’d say the start of this belief happened when I was growing up. I was raised in a military family and have been around the world. Not only just once, but literally several times. I’ve lived in more places and experienced more cultures than I can count, but out of all of them, my favorite has to be Guam. My time there was filled with the best diving I've done to-date. And while I was in school there, I’d get a three week sabbatical. One of my favorite memories from this time was making the hour flight to Australia. It was simply amazing to live in and enjoy a new side of the world.

It was these experiences which led me to go into the military myself, and for seven years after graduating I served in the Coast Guard. The majority of that time was spent in Alaska, and it was there where I saw all kinds of crazy stuff. Like: an entire week when I couldn’t leave my house because there was a family of moose living on my front porch and a black bear on the back porch. Rescue literally had to come out and shoo them all away. That was an unforgettable, hysterical, and wildly terrifying experience.

A collage of Cory diving and standing on the snow in Alaska
Cory pictured during his time in Guam and Alaska

So, you’re probably wondering: how does this all connect with now being a Scrum Master? Well, early in my career I found myself wanting to explore the IT field. I went back to school and started working in support, FTP coding, and all that. However, as I stepped into roles, I didn't like the way I was being managed. This was in-line with my past experiences from the Coast Guard, where in order to move up in rank you had to test well, and in order to test well you had to have a good manager. In talking to a lot of my friends about this, their consistent response was: “Well, Cory, why don’t you get into project management where great management is what you do?” With this encouragement, I ended up back in school, again, and learned all about project management and Scrum.

As I was making the change, I couldn’t stop thinking about one of my own project managers from a few years prior — Jeffrey. He’s my main inspiration. Jeffrey made sure that people had what they needed. He also spotted my willingness to jump into a lead role. Because of this, Jeffrey would take time out of his day to sit down with me and just coach me through things. Even though he’s now retired, I still talk to him almost every week. I learn so much from him every time we have a chance to connect.

It’s actually funny to look back and see how the relationships I’ve made throughout my life have impacted my professional career. It was my friends who prompted me to consider project management at first. Also, in an interview for a role the interviewer actually stopped his questioning and brought attention to the Dungeon & Dragon minis that were displayed behind me. In my free time I dungeon master a lot of Dungeons & Dragons — I have been since I was 14 years old. I run games for people located across the world from me, and in this interview the interviewer spent over half of our time asking questions about my style as a dungeon master, how I run games, and how I make it all work. My answers were just what he was looking for: an individual who can connect people from different cultures and timezones, schedule them to meet at one time, facilitate them coming together, and align them to do something. It was then when I realized that I had been a Scrum Master my whole life. 

Also, in college I took a lot of philosophy and psychology courses, and actually thought I’d be a psychologist when I grew up. I find that I bring a lot of that into how I project manage. I think that’s the best thing about being a Scrum Master: getting to figure out what makes people happy.

It’s actually funny to look back and see how the relationships I’ve made throughout my life, have impacted my professional career.

What I bring to my teams is that I'm a huge talker and I love listening to people. I will get on a call with a colleague and be like: “Tell me everything that you need to talk about today”. It could be about their life or their dog. We just talk and usually that leads to people opening up and being more authentic. I always try to take this time to really get to know my coworkers so they can be successful. Every day I want them to come to work and feel as though their manager likes them and will do everything he can to ensure they succeed that day.

This mentality fits right in at Kin + Carta. I can honestly say that I love working here. I have never quite felt the camaraderie and community I have here, and it's just been so welcoming. Everyone’s willing to lend a hand. Also, the fact that it’s a consulting firm means you get to jump from project to project throughout your tenure. That’s exciting, right? You just don't know what opportunities you're going to get. 

Cory and his teammates at a bar
Cory pictured with some of our Kin the the US East Territory

While it is my personal and professional passion, I would say that my job does have it’s challenging aspects. There are always going to be times when people wake up and feel that today is just not the day they’re going to do their best work. My response to this is always something like: “Hey, I get it. Take an extended lunch later, but I’m going to need you to focus in the morning.” 

No one wants to fill their life with only work — that’s not what we’re all here for. However, I truly believe that there are ways to make the 40 hour work week fun. And that’s my goal: getting my teams to talk and truly know one another, while having great experiences together along the way. That’s what’s been building me throughout my life, and what I hope to bring to the teams I support. All we want is to be ourselves, be surrounded by a community, and do something everyday that makes us happy.

Eager to join a team of relationship-focused individuals, like Cory?

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