This week, I had the honor and privilege of interviewing my supervisor this summer, and Chief Community Impact Officer of Neighborhood Service Organization, Katrina McCree. Though Katrina only began at NSO one year ago, she said that nonprofit work has always been a part of her DNA, and a passion she wished to pursue. Now, she is doing exactly that. Prior to coming to NSO, Katrina worked in many different fields ranging from hospital settings to higher education. Throughout all of the different positions she held, Katrina noted that project management and relationship building were always a common thread. So, when Katrina was informed of a position opening at NSO, she immediately jumped on the opportunity to marry her two interests once again.
One aspect of her work that Katrina particularly enjoys is the opportunity to work on many different projects at the same time. Although her background is in communications and human resources, Katrina loves that she is able to do anything from marketing, to business development, to community engagement because it allows her to continue learning and growing. She also loves being able to learn from the Detroit community in this position. As she describes it, Chief Community Impact Officer is Katrina’s dream job.
To end the interview, I asked Katrina if she had any advice for students wanting to be where she is today. And she broke it down in the following way:
1. Have a plan. It’s okay to not know what you want to do, but always have goals for yourself that you are working towards. In terms of majors, students nowadays have the ability to look up what types of jobs are relevant to their major and how viable those roles are – use that to your advantage.
2. If and when the plan fails, networking is SO important. Many of the career changes that Katrina made would not have been possible without having a strong network that she could reach out to. Katrina mentioned two strategies for networking (which are especially useful for introverts like myself): (1) every time you walk into a room, have an agenda, and (2) work the four corners. To break it down a bit further, tell yourself that you will meet x number of people every time you enter into a networking event and make yourself stick to it. The other strategy is to move through each of the four corners of the room throughout the event, meeting people as you go.
In all, I really enjoyed interviewing Katrina for this blog. During the process, I realized that she and I have a lot in common in that we both love learning about other people and, honestly, just learning in general. After doing this activity, I feel that I have learned more about Katrina, the organization I am at, and the Detroit community as a whole, and I am really looking forward to continuing to build the relationship with my site mentor.