My name is Cory Bolton, but most of my friends call me Taj or Tajai. I was born in India, but have lived in the Minneapolis/St. Paul suburbs for nearly all of my life. I grew up playing just about every sport under the sun. I played organized soccer and basketball from kindergarden through high school. I graduated with honors from Eastview High School, where I participated in DECA and various sports. It was my success in DECA (an association of marketing students) where I discovered my interest for marketing. That interest inspired me to attend one of four accredited business programs in the state on Minnesota at the time, in St. Cloud State University.
St. Cloud State allowed me to pursue all of my interests in business, marketing, management, ethnic studies and human relations).
Where I really found my calling was in the interactive marketing field. I became interested in the E-Commerce side of business and marketing. I decided to take on the Webmaster board position in St. Cloud State University's Chapter of the American Marketing Association. I created a new, from scratch (before the age of templates and popular CMS programs), dynamic website for the organization. My website won 2nd place at the 2005 AMA National Conference Competition among all collegiate chapters in North America. My interest to learn the latest internet technology and trends, helped jump started my career interest in web design. I went on to became the President of the SCSU E-Business Club, and in addition was also the webmaster for several other student organizations.
During my senior year I became actively involved in the College of Business, where I served as a student chairperson in the College of Business Executive Council. The mission of the Council was to advance all organizations within the Herberger Business School and to facilitate interaction between business organizations and Herberger Business School faculty, staff, and administration. Being so actively involved and holding many key leadership positions in student organizations, helped me in obtaining key internship experiences with Target Corp., Our World Shops and Global Commerce & Communications.
I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in December 2005. This included a minor in Human Relations and a major in Marketing from an AACSB accredited college of business program at St. Cloud State. I also belong to the professional organizations of Beta Gamma Sigma, the National Society of Collegiate Scholar and the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Assocation.
Upon graduation at St. Cloud State University, I found myself at Carlson Marketing Worldwide. I was later assigned to the Northwest Airlines account and worked onsite at the Airline's World Headquarters. I worked with their Passenger Marketing Team as a Web Analyst on their site operations team.
A couple years later, I was recruited to return to Our World Shops, where I had previously completed an internship. I was able to develop a huge breadth of internet marketing skills, including E-Commerce Strategy, User Interface/User Experience Design (UI/UX), Digital Marketing (SEM/SEO), Web & Email Design & Coding, Web Analytics and Social Media. I helped the company grow significantly over several years by partipating in the launch of several new e-commerce websites and other CSE ventures. It was a great opportunity to learn so many technical skills, but the next step for my career development was gaining management experience.
Seeking to develop this skill, brought me to Bluestem Brands, where I am currently the Ecommerce Marketing and Site Operations Manager for the Fingerhut Brand. The site team is responsible for managing all content and experiences on Fingerhut.com. Fingerhut with Bluestem Brands, is ranked as the 62nd top internet retailer in the US (based on online revenues), as ranked by Internet Retailer.
I have an affinity for all things digital. That translates to always wanting the latest tech gadgets. I absolutely love live music. You can often find me hanging out at all of the Twin Cities' music venues, where I am a major supporter of up-and-coming artists and local musicians. I enjoy watching both professional and collegiate hockey and football. I'm a car guy, who loves to keep the ride clean and drive it fast. Lastly, I make a big effort to stay current on business news and financial markets. My interest in those area has made me a stock market junkie, where I enjoy utilizing technical analysis and following unusual stock options activity to actively trade stocks and options.