Hometown: Denhoff, North Dakota
Current Residence: Denver, Colorado
Education: University of North Dakota
1978 – Bachelors degree in Economics
1980 – Masters degree in Accounting
Paul Korus grew up as a classic farm boy from Denhoff, ND. His high school was located in the nearby town of Goodrich. He came to UND to study Economics and Accounting, working as a graduate assistant in accounting and passing the CPA Exam during his 2nd year of his graduate work.
Korus began his career with Arthur Anderson in 1980 as a Management Information Systems consultant. Later he determined that he would like to work more in the industrial sector vs. the service sector and found his place within the oil and gas energy industry.
Currently Korus is the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Cimarex Energy Co., a New York Stock Exchange listed oil and gas exploration and production company. Korus is active in the oil and gas industry associations, community activities and youth sports organizations. His current affiliations include, the Independent Producers Association of America, America’s Natural Gas Alliance, and as a new member for the College of Business & Public Administration Advisory Council.
Q1: What Advice do you have for new graduates interested in entering the field of energy/oil as it is now a booming industry in Western North Dakota?
Whatever major you pursue, you need to challenge yourself by taking electives which will increase your analytical abilities, as well as critical thinking and reasoning skills. This is the same advice I provide my three adult children. Reduce extracurricular things like video games and socializing by 25% and take an elective that will challenge you.
Q2: How did your education at UND prepare you for a successful career?
UND prepared me very well. I have had two or three career changes and I was able to make these career changes due to the broad base of education that I received throughout my experience at the CoBPA. When I was a student at UND I did what I preach and challenged myself with electives that would provide me with the opportunity to build on my critical thinking and quantitative analysis skills.
Q3: What inspired you to provide the funding for the Department of Economics Faculty Excellence Endowment?
As I look across the spectrum of majors, which includes economics, I believe, regardless of your major, that you should be well versed in economics and empirical analysis. Whether you are an accounting, management, or entrepreneurship major you should all have a solid grounding in the principals of financial economics. This will assist in making you a better business professional. Having strong economics faculty will provide a significant impact beyond just economics graduates.