Career Notes 6.28.20
Ep 4 | 6.28.20

Kathleen Booth: Get your foot in the door and prove your worth. [Marketing]


Kathleen Booth: My name is Kathleen Booth and I'm the Vice President of Marketing for Attila Security.

Kathleen Booth: When I was younger, I wanted to be an actress when I grew up.

Kathleen Booth: But then I think I started realizing that that might not be the most secure career path.

Kathleen Booth: I actually kind of went to college to study political science and really was interested in going into politics, I had, you know, very lofty goals of of changing the world, making it a better place. And um so I did I spent four years studying political science. I then went on and got a graduate degree in international politics. I have a kind of a funny career story. I used to do a lot of work for the World Bank, USAID, et cetera and I specialized in water utility, public private partnerships in the developing world.

Kathleen Booth: But what happened was some of the projects I worked on really were frustrating. And I'll give you an example. I think the turning point for me was around nineteen ninety-six. I was spending a lot of time in Ghana, in Africa, and I was working on a project to bring the private sector in to manage water throughout the whole country. It was a really large project, very, very needed, because as is the case throughout much of Africa, there are many people who don't have either any access to water or if they have it, it's unreliable and that that has a cascading effect across their lives and across the economy.

Kathleen Booth: So, you know, I was very passionate about these projects. And what happened was we did a lot of work. I think we we put together a prospectus for a really great project that would deliver water to a lot of people who really needed it. But because of poor communication on the part of the government, that project got derailed for a variety of reasons, and it wound up taking a decade for the country to move forward with it. I am somebody who likes to see the product of her work. And so I think that was really the moment in time for me where I realized I needed to do something differently. And so for about five years after that, I shifted a little bit. I still worked in the same field, but I started focusing on how governments could use strategic communications to start out really early in the process and build consensus with key stakeholders for large public sector reform projects. And really what that was, was that was just using my marketing degree and applying it to the field of international development. So that was that was what led me back into marketing initially.

Kathleen Booth: At the end of the day, my personal belief is that nothing trumps experience. Honestly, if you there's something you're passionate about doing and, you know, you want to get started. The best thing to do is to figure out a way to get your foot in the door. And the story always share about this is a woman who used to work for me at my marketing agency who was just one of those people, sort of like I described, she hadn't finished college. She didn't have a marketing degree. She applied for a job with me. And I said, you know, you don't have the qualifications I'm looking for. And I was thinking that would be that. And she wrote me back and she said, I really want to go into a career in marketing. I will take any position in your company. You just tell me what you need. And that really made an impact on me. And I hired her. At first, she was came in as an assistant, a personal assistant to my husband. But she was amazing. She was a hard worker. She learned so fast and she quickly transitioned and became one of our best marketing strategists. And today she has a very successful career in marketing. So whether it's marketing or cybersecurity or whatever it is, if you're if you're just getting started and you want to pursue it, you know, don't take no for an answer and be willing to do anything that gets you in. And then once you're in, that's your opportunity to prove your worth.

Kathleen Booth: I hope that I'm remembered as someone who helped other people, who lifted others up. You know, I have I have a long running podcast that's all about education. I mentor a lot of startups. I've mentored a lot of younger marketers. You know, I love what I do. But I think the part of it that I love the most is when I'm able to help someone else, whether that's an entrepreneur who's trying to grow their business or a young marketer just starting out or, you know, somebody who's listening to the podcast. I just really hope that people look back and say, boy, I learned a lot from her and I was able to be more successful because of it.