Kathryn Healy, W&M Class of 2007
Kathryn Healy arrived at William & Mary in 2003. While at the College, Healy studied abroad in Spain and became a sister of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
After graduating in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Healy worked as a litigation paralegal for a Williams Mullen law firm in Richmond. She then returned to William & Mary to earn a Masters in Business Administration. After graduation, she moved to Atlanta to work with Deloitte as a consultant. She currently lives in Milwaukee with her husband, working for S.C. Johnson in Human Resources.
In her interview, Healy describes how a small-town feel lead her to choose William & Mary over UVA. She fondly recalls her time with sorority sisters and her study abroad experience during her undergraduate years. Recalling the Virginia Tech shooting, she stresses the major impact this event had on campus and on her worldview. Healy continually claims that her degree from William & Mary has allowed her many of the opportunities she has received throughout her career. She owes the College the connections she has made throughout her life, from meeting her husband and her best friend to the current position she holds at S.C. Johnson. The College’s strides to increase opportunities for women leave Healy hopeful for the future. She stresses how the women in her life now and at William & Mary have been formative to her career and identity.
William & Mary
Interviewee: Kathryn Healy
Interviewer: Carmen Bolt
Interview Date: June 2, 2018
Carmen: My name is Carmen Bolt. I’m the oral historian at William and Mary. It’s currently 9:00 a.m. on June 2nd, 2018. I’m sitting in the Kimpton Hotel Allegro in Chicago, Illinois with Kathryn Healy, class of 2007.
So, we’re going to start out. Could you tell me the date and place of your birth, and what years you attended William and Mary?
Kathryn: So, I was born November 4th, 1985, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and then – okay, what was the last question?
Carmen: And what years you attended –
Kathryn: attended –
Carmen: William and Mary.
Kathryn: 2003 to 2007.
Carmen: Okay, great.
Kathryn: And then also for grad school, from 2010 to 2012.
Carmen: Awesome. And can you tell me a little bit about where and how you were raised? Were you raised in Salt Lake City?
Kathryn: I was not, so my parents divorced when I was 3. My mom moved to Richmond, Virginia, because that’s where her sister was, and my grandparents lived in D.C. at the time, so I was pretty much, I would say born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, my whole life.
Carmen: Great. And can you tell me a little bit more, just about your family dynamic. Maybe what your parents did for a living?
Kathryn: Sure. So, my mom was a teacher.
0:01:00.7 And my dad is a CPA, and my step-father’s also a CPA, and my step-mom’s an attorney. So, I kind of have the whole modern family situation, before the whole modern family was the cool thing. So, that’s how I grew up.
So, my parents, my dad lived in Salt Lake City, and then my mom lived in Richmond. So, I would spend my summers going out to Salt Lake City and staying with my dad for the summer. So, that was kind of an interesting dynamic to have, growing up.
Carmen: Oh, I’m sure. So, when did you start thinking about college, then.
Kathryn: I probably started thinking about college pretty early, just because I think my dad was kind of like, not brainwashing me, but I definitely think he wanted me to come out West and just experience that. So, he took me to college campuses, I think, around my sophomore year. So, went to Cal-Berkeley, and I remember going to Stanford, University of Utah. I looked at – because that’s actually how my parents met. So, my mom went to University of Utah. So, she was okay with that, I think. But then, living in Richmond – in Virginia, we have such good schools in state.
0:02:01.2 You know, William and Mary obviously being one of them. UVA, JMU. So, I ended up looking at all of those, as well. And probably around my sophomore year, I started getting interested in that.
Carmen: Okay, and so William and Mary got on your radar because it was one of those in-state schools that you started looking at.
Carmen: But what in particular drew you to it?
Kathryn: So, I would say in high school, I was actually pretty – a lost person. I was like, I don’t know where I want to go, because of that dynamic of my parents were both like, “Well, you have the opportunity to go wherever you want.” I think that kind of was like, difficult. I wished someone would have just said, no, you need to go here. This is where you belong, and that just never transpired. And I think what happened was, in 2001 was September 11. And that for me was, okay. I need to stay close to home. I want to be near my parents. I don’t want to be getting on planes anymore. Like, this is not – I think it had a big impact on me. So, I ended up looking at William and Mary by proximity, just because it’s an hour from Richmond.
Kathryn: And it’s so good, and you know, it was small. I was like, maybe I do want the small feel. And when it came down to it, I was really torn between William and Mary and UVA, and so I spent a lot of time looking at both of those schools. I did like, back to back weekends there, because I got into both, and so I was like, okay, UVA for a weekend, and stay here, and stay with this girl that I know. So, I went there; I stayed with here. And I was like, oh, I love it here. This school’s so beautiful. These people are so fun. They’re so smart. I think I want to come here. Then my next weekend was William and Mary, and oh – but I love William and Mary. These people are so down to Earth. They’re so normal, they’re so great. It’s so small. And I felt like the girl that I stayed with--her name is Amanda--she let me stay with her in her Yates, Yates Hall, and I felt like she knew everybody, and it’s like, “Hi Amanda. Hi Amanda.” And I think, how does she know everybody? And so, for me, I was like, okay. I really like that small-town feel. I think I want this. And so that kind of how I – you know, was drawn to it. Just by having those experiences.
Carmen: Yeah, so can we talk a little bit more about your first experiences on campus? Be that when you visited, after you were accepted, or your first week as a freshman. Just what that was like. What it looked like, felt like, smelled like, I don’t know . . .
Kathryn: Yeah, sure. So, I think the visit for me, back to that. Like I said, I felt like she knew everybody. And we went to like a drama class, or some play. And again, she just knew everybody. And so, I was – I liked that. So, when I arrived, myself--I’m thinking back then--so it was 2003. I remember coming for move-in day, and it was so hot. It was like those muggy, Williamsburg days, and my parents are like unloading the car. You can see everybody’s drenched in sweat. I lived in DuPont, which was – I think that’s exactly where I wanted to be, because it was co-ed. I didn’t want to be in Barrett, which I had some friends there who also loved their experience. And, my roommate at that time was from Minnesota.
0:04:58.9 And so, she was my roommate. Her name was Renée. We were roommates for all four years of college, which is kind of crazy that that happened, but that’s how it worked. So, move-in day, I just remember unloading the van or car. Renée was there. We met her parents, my parents met her. And there was this weird moment. So, you guys are here together. You’re going to have a fun adventure. See you later.
And you said like the sounds the smells – it was hot. That’s what – I just remember being sweaty. And I remember seeing the line of people going into DuPont to sign in that you’re there, and you’re moving in, and I remember seeing everybody. And I remember thinking, this is so cool, because I don’t know a single person. I also was the only person from my high school to go, which, when I think about, when I look back at that, I went to a school of 1,200 kids, and my class was 400, and we all lived an hour from William and Mary.
Kathryn: And I was the only one who went.
Kathryn: Yeah. So, I kind of liked that, though.
0:05:59.1 It’s like, I don’t know anybody. This is cool. I have a fresh start from high school. I get to be my own person. I get to do whatever I want. This is awesome. So, I went in very positive and optimistic. And within my first like month or so, I did join a sorority. So, I joined Kappa Kappa Gamma, and went through that whole like, rush process, and saw how that all worked, and that was so much fun. It was new. It was exciting. I got to meet a lot of people in like a very short amount of time. And then I also remember – I was thinking about that this week – trying to remember like the big events happening.
So, about three weeks in, and right after rush, and maybe around the same time, hurricane Isabel came through, and everybody had to evacuate. We all had to leave. And it was like, we had just started, we’d just started classes; we were just getting to know people. And it’s like, oh – you’re gone for two weeks. I think it might have been three. It was a long – it was a long break, where we went home. And it’s like, okay, I’m back home with my parents again. What happened to the new friends I had. I had like a fun little independent stint for a minute, and now I’m back home.
0:07:01.5 So, I do remember that. And I remember I had to leave my fish in the dorm.
Carmen: Oh no!
Kathryn: And I’m like, I hope my fish is not dead in there! He ended up being alive. He was like the survivor fish.
Carmen: That’s miraculous!
Kathryn: So, yeah. That was kind of the first like, tumultuous start to William and Mary, for sure.
Carmen: My goodness! It sounds like it. That’s wild. Do you know where everyone went? So, you were in close proximity to home, but where was everyone else?
Carmen: Like students who were not local?
Kathryn: Exactly – and they were canceling flights and stuff, so people couldn’t get out.
Carmen: That’s wild.
Kathryn: So, my roommate, she went with another girl on our hall. It’s actually funny you bring this up, because this was something else I was thinking about. Just how William and Mary kind of opened my eyes to so many things. So, this girl on our hall, Renée went with her on her private jet down to Myrtle Beach. Some area down South. And I remember just thinking, how in the world does she have a private jet?
0:08:00.0 And like, where am I? Because I grew up in Midlothian, Virginia, suburb, outside of Richmond. Very – I would say grew up pretty middle class. I mean, I’d never seen anything like that, or been around that type of money before.
And so, joining a sorority, the girls on my hall, just starting to see that there were people out there who had a lot of money that were at William and Mary. So, I think that’s funny – I was starting to think that, and that’s exactly what happened. So, she went with her. Another girl that was on my hall, from Texas, went with her roommate down to North Carolina. So, it seems like people kind of paired up and went to – and of course, I offered. I was like, anyone’s welcome to come with me. Like, I live an hour away. It’s totally fine. But I think everybody kind of paired up and did their own things. And a lot of people were in-state, so they did just go home too.
Carmen: Well, that is wild. That is really a quick way to disrupt a freshman experience.
Kathryn: It’s like, welcome, start classes, meet friends, okay, bye. Come back in two – two and a half weeks. It was crazy, because the campus was so destroyed, too.
Kathryn: I remember coming back. And DuPont, there were like trees down, and things had been damaged, and so, for sure. And they didn’t want anyone coming on campus and getting hurt –
Carmen: Oh sure –
Kathryn: by like a fallen limb, or something. So –
Carmen: That’s wild.
Kathryn: It was crazy.
Carmen: Oh, my goodness. We’ll get into some of the other memories you have of William and Mary, because I want to hear about all of them, but let’s go back to what you chose to study, and if you knew what you wanted to study going into college.
Carmen: That’s a – I knew that question was going to come. I had a feeling. So, I started to think about that. So, going in, I thought I wanted to international relations or history or something along that line, because my history teacher in high school was a great mentor to me, and had always said, “You can do big things. You’re well-traveled and you know all of this, so you should do international relations.” I did a program at Georgetown in the summer in high school that was all international relational. I’m doing international relations.
0:09:59.9 I get to William and Mary, and you know, you’ve probably experienced this dynamic, potentially, but being at the top of your class in high school, and being a top performer, a top student, and oh, I’m a rock star. I can do whatever I want. When you get to William and Mary, it’s oh – everyone around me is me. Everyone’s the same. Rock stars. Brilliant. Like want to do astronomical things. So, I was kind of – not humbled – but almost like scared. Like whoa. These people are really smart. I don’t think I’m as smart as they are. I think they’re smarter than me. I don’t know if I can do international relations. So, I got a little timid and shied away from it. So, I didn’t do international relations, and I ended up doing more history. Well, I think I like history. Well, my teacher – he was a history teacher. He was great. I can do that. And then, I kind of switched again. Well, I don’t know if I want to do history, either, I sort of was just, I had no idea what I want to do. So, I took a step back and thought, let’s really think about this. What is my ultimate goal here. Like, what do I want to do after college?
0:11:00.3 So, I thought I wanted to do law. And I was like, okay, I’m going to do economics, then. That’s the number one major. Let’s do that. So, I ended up going the economics route in the end. But it took me like, probably, maybe like half-way through my junior year to realize that.
Kathryn: I mean, for a William and Mary kid, it’s like everybody goes something like, “I’m doing Biology. I’m going to be this. I’m going to do this.” And I thought I knew, but obviously, I was a little lost puppy, and I was like, I don’t know what I want to do.
Carmen: Well, you know, I’ve actually heard a surprising number of people say that exact thing. I think there’s this perception that people know, and they go straight through with that thing. But actually, a large number of people I’ve interviewed, at least have had that –
Kathryn: Okay, good –
Carmen: bouncing around, trying to figure out what exactly it is they want to do, long term.
Kathryn: So, I’m not the only lost person out there.
Carmen: No, no – so economics. You ended on that path. Were there any – and this actually goes for outside economics, too. But, were there any professors, mentors, advisors that stood out as particularly impactful at William and Mary?
Kathryn: So, you know? Undergrad, not really. Like I felt like I was kind of lost, and I – maybe part of it was my fault. I felt like I didn’t go to anyone for help. I was like, oh, I need to figure this out on my own. I’m independent; I can do this. So, I really didn’t have any – I mean, I liked my professors, and – but I really didn’t have like one that stood out to me, or any mentors.
I will say, my freshman year, I did take this freshman seminar, because you’re forced to take – I don’t know, there’s like 10 to 15 kids in it or something. That seminar, I think, changed everything about the way that I think about words, and writing, and it made me, probably a ten times better writer. I don’t remember the professor at the time, but I just remember, even today, what she – whatever she did, like really helped me think about writing. And when you’re writing something, what are you really trying to say? What are the words you’re trying to use? So, to me, she’s one that stood out for sure, because it really impacted me. But, in economics, not so much, no –
Carmen: That makes sense.
0:13:00.5 Were there any individuals that you came into contact with, kind of outside the academic sphere that were impactful? Either through your sorority or other things you were involved in?
Kathryn: So, actually, yes, there was one person--let me think about this for a minute. How can I phrase this? So, my sorority, obviously was impactful. I had great friends and girls in that group. And I will say my roommate, Renée, she was very inspiring to me. So, she studied abroad, her sophomore year, which was unusual. She went down to Chile. And I saw a lot of people studying abroad, and there were girls in the classes above me in my sorority who also did abroad, and I thought, wow. That’s really cool that they’re doing this. And there was one girl in particular that I talk to about it. And I think she sort of was like, “Do it. What do you have to lose? It’s fun. It’s – you learn more out of the classroom than anything. So, you should try it.” So, then I went to the Reeve Center to talk to people about it. And I talked to a ton of people. And I just felt like the more and more I talked to people, they were, “Why are you still asking about this? Just do it.” So, then I talked to my parents about it, and my parents were like, “No.”
0:13:58.8 “We don’t want you to do that. The timing.” It’s like right after 2001, September 11. They’re like, “It’s not really a safe world right now. I don’t think you should do this.” I’m like, “Well, I’m going to.” So, this is happening. So, I ended up studying abroad. So, I would say those people that I talked to just – that one piece of information about studying abroad, and just seeing people overseas, doing that, was impactful to me, too.
Carmen: Yeah, it sounds like you had a lot of support, at least from the campus about –
Kathryn: Correct. And even one of the advisors in the Reeve Center, when I was like, “Well, my parents aren’t really supportive, so how am I going to pay for this, if they don’t pay for it?” She was like, “Oh, we can help you. We’ll find financing. You can take out a loan. If this is something you really want to do, I mean, you’re an adult. You’re over 18. You can do this.” So, I told my parents that. I was like, “You know, I’m going, whether you like it or not, so – be supportive.” And they came around. They were supportive. So, I ended up going to Spain, for my second half of my junior year.
Carmen: Great. And will you expand on that experience of being abroad a little bit?
Kathryn: Yes. So, I loved it. I had a blast. I was there from – so that was 2006. I was there from January to May, so I was there for a full five months. And it was just – it was awesome. I took economic courses over there. I took business classes – International Business – I met a lot of Americans, and a lot of other people. My roommate over there, actually, that we were paired with, she was from Clemson, and we had the exact same birthday. November 4th, 1985.
Carmen: How does that happen?
Kathryn: So, it was like, we were meant to be. We were best friends. Still friends today. And we traveled all over. We had like a two-and-a-half-week spring break when we were over there. So, we were all over. We went to Italy and did this whole tour through Italy, and we went France and traveled all through there. It was so – it was like backpacking and broke, and taking trains and boats overnight, and sleeping on trains. And it was fun. I would say that was probably one of the best experiences that I had at William and Mary. Not just because it was learning so much that you would not get at William and Mary, in terms of the culture, the experiences.
0:16:03.1 One example: We were supposed to go to Paris for a weekend. Like, oh, we were going to just take the train up to Paris, and maybe we’ll make a long weekend of it, and all that. Well, there were riots going on, like train workers just decided, oh, we don’t want to work today, and we’re going to riot for the next couple weeks. So, we didn’t go. We can’t take a train. We don’t know how we’re going to get there. So, it’s little things like that that you’re just thinking – that doesn’t really happen in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Kathryn: So, this is a new experience.
Carmen: Yeah, definitely learning how to navigate between countries, too, I think, in a foreign location, even if it is Westernized. Definitely.
Kathryn: Exactly. Yup, and just the little things that I even do still today, I feel like, that kind of shaped me. So, in Europe, they buy food like just for the day. They’ll go to the store, and, “Oh – this is all I need.” And that’s exactly how I am. So, I’ll just go to the store after work, and buy what I need for dinner. It helps that we live right next to the grocery store. I don’t know if I had to drive every day I would do that.
0:16:59.9 But, I just feel like it’s little things that have still kind of stuck with me, that shaped my, like, adult life.
Carmen: Sure. Great. So, in addition to studying abroad, do you have any specific favorite memories from your time at William and Mary that you want to talk about?
Kathryn: Yeah, so, like I said, I lived with my roommate all four years. I think some of my favorite memories in the last, my senior year, from 2006 to 2007, we lived off campus in this house that’s right across from – I don’t know – that big field, that I’m trying – and like Barrett. It was right across there.
Carmen: Okay, yeah.
Kathryn: It was Griffin Avenue, and it was this little blue house, and it was dubbed “The Blue Monkey.” Which I would say, that was all – one of my favorite memories, just living off campus, and enjoying that. Joining a sorority. There’s always kind of formals, and events going on, which is needed in Williamsburg sometimes, just to keep you busy. So, I would say those were always my favorite memories, just hanging out with my sorority sisters doing that. And they all kind of blurred together.
0:17:59.9 I’m like thinking, every formal. And you know, fraternities, they would have events, too. So, there was like Sigma Chi Derby Days. I always remember that every year, and how fun that was. Trying to think of other – most of my time there revolved around those, like social events, and campus events.
Kathryn: So, those were probably favorite memories. My grad time – I could talk a little bit about that, too.
Carmen: Sure – yeah –
Kathryn: Just favorite memories from grad school. Same thing – my husband and I went to grad school together. So, we lived together during grad school, and going through those kind of tough times in business school together. I think those are things that we still talk about, and having those memories.
Carmen: Mm-hmm –
Kathryn: I was thinking about professors and mentors. Now I’m like thinking of more memories around that. Business school, I definitely had great professors and mentors. And I will say maybe that’s because I was a little bit more focused. Like I knew what I was doing there. I knew I was on a career path, and I knew I had an end goal in mind.
0:19:01.3 So, I wasn’t quite as lost, maybe. But definitely had strong and fond memories of business school, for sure. And mentors – you know in business school, you’re also assigned an executive coach at the time, so my coach was phenomenal. And he really was guiding me in the right direction. Kind of how I ended up where I am today, was because of him. I know I kind of rambled on that one, but –
Carmen: No – that’s perfectly fine. Actually, what I want to talk about is just kind of the differences between the undergraduate experience at William and Mary, and your graduate experience at William and Mary, and what kind of differences, and how different it felt to be in those two kind of roles, so –
Kathryn: Yeah, that – it was very – I would say it was a very different dynamic. Also, just from a maturity standpoint – I think that’s what I’m getting at, with like being lost, versus focused.
Kathryn: I think in undergrad, maybe everybody feels a little lost. You’re also – it’s also the first time where you’re kind of experiencing something new, on your own, away from family, away from parents.
0:19:59.4 You’re kind of forming these relationships that, you know, you don’t know these people very well. You’re just – kind of on your own, you know? I think undergraduate was probably like a pretty hard time for me, to be honest. I actually liked my graduate experience better.
Kathryn: Because I felt focused. It’s like, oh, I know what I’m doing. I have an objective in mind. Also, I’m very type A, so I like to plan, and I like to know what’s going on. So, undergrad, not knowing, and just kind of constantly being anxious, I felt like,
Kathryn: So, those are kind of the dynamics I see. I keep going to back to just like, unfocused versus focused; mature/not mature. I think those are the key differences for me.
Carmen: Sure. That makes sense. So, I always like to ask, what in the Williamsburg area – so, I know you said a lot of your social life revolved around kind of your sororities or the different social events going on there. But, what in the Williamsburg area did you and your friends like to go do for fun, or restaurants you liked to frequent, or anything like that?
Kathryn: Yes. So, I didn’t even think about, like, bringing up Williamsburg. Williamsburg is a great place for a college town. I loved it there. It’s funny, because I tell people, like my brother went to JMU, so, whenever I talk to people, like, “Oh, you went to William and Mary. Did you churn butter in your free time?” “No, I did not go churn butter.” But – we did love to run down Dog Street.
Kathryn: So, when the weather was nice, we would always just take friends, and go down all the way, because I guess it’s a mile right down, and then a mile back. So, that was always a perfect run. And from the Kappa House, because Kappa’s right there at the top of the route, it was just perfect. And kappa also had this great little garden out there, that I always used to sit in. Loved that garden. So, another favorite memory. Just sitting out three, and kind of enjoying the sun, or anything.
Yeah, so running. Also, some restaurants that we really liked: The Blue Talon – I loved going there -- to Cheese Shop. Oh my gosh. Every time I go to Williamsburg, got to get that house dressing. That taste is – you can’t replicate it.
Carmen: There’s nothing like it.
Kathryn: No. Exactly. And the same with grad school. We would go to the Cheese Shop all the time.
0:22:02.7 Also, we were very broke, I feel like, during grad school. So, we would go there, just because it’s pretty inexpensive, and filling. And then we would also go to – I think it’s called Plaza Azteca – is that still there? It was like, the Mexican place, down on –
Carmen: Yeah – from Richmond Road.
Kathryn: Yup. That was not there in my undergrad time. I remember going to Chile’s in undergrad a lot. I think that’s probably still there, too. But yes, I love the Mexican restaurant there.
Carmen: Great. It’s a lot of fun. I do like – the Cheese Shop in particular, as you might imagine, does come up very frequently, throughout the decades.
Kathryn: Oh, and one more thing –
Carmen: Yeah –
Kathryn: I’ll elaborate. So, my husband and I actually ended up getting married at William and Mary. I can’t believe I haven’t’ brought this up. It’s like a favorite memory. We got married in the Wren Chapel, and then we had our reception at Ford’s Colony, and then we had our rehearsal dinner at the Williamsburg Inn. So, that’s like a favorite place of mine. I never really went there in undergrad, though. Just because I think, you know, it is expensive. It’s a different – we would see it, but we never went in there or anything.
0:23:01.5 So, grad school, we went there quite a bit, and had cocktails in there. Again, I think maybe it goes to the maturity thing. Like, we were grownups. We could do this. And then ended up fitting – having our rehearsal dinner there, and all of that.
Carmen: Yeah. That is a good memory. So, you met your husband on – during your undergrad?
Kathryn: I met him, actually after undergrad. So, we were both working in Richmond. He’s also from Richmond. Grew up, raised there. So, we met in Richmond after I was working as a paralegal, because I thought I wanted to go to law school. It’s like, well, I’ll work as a paralegal, go, make sure I want to do this. And we were out and about one night, and I was with some coworkers, and he was with coworkers, and he had on a William and Mary hat. It’s like this green Tribe hat. And I was like, “Oh, you went to William and Mary.” I can’t believe I haven’t seen this person. He looks familiar, maybe? So, then we just started talking. And he graduated undergrad in 2005.
Kathryn: So, we did overlap for two years, but I didn’t know him. Which is very surprising. You’d think like, you’d kind of see people, or kind of recognized them.
0:24:02.8 So, yeah. We met after and we met in 2009, I think – or 2008. 2008 or 2009, somewhere in there. And then, the rest is history.
Carmen: Yeah, but you had that William and Mary connection, and so –
Kathryn: Exactly. It’s funny, because we talk about – had you not been wearing that hat that night, I probably wouldn’t have – well, maybe I would have talked to him, but it was the hat, that was like, oh! He went to William and Mary. I should talk to him. So, we always kind of laugh. Like, William and Mary truly is like what brought us together.
Carmen: Yeah. The network at work.
Carmen: Well, that’s great. And It’s a great story. And it’s kind of common, actually. I mean it sure it is--I say this--I’m sure it is with most colleges, people meet their significant others there. I have to way with William and Mary, it feels particularly like, that happens a lot –
Kathryn: It does –
Carmen: at William and Mary –
Kathryn: I agree.
Carmen: So, something about it.
Kathryn: The William and Mary air and water. [chuckles]
Carmen: So, transitioning a little bit to things that were going on from a socio-political perspective, in the nation and broader world while you were at college.
0:25:04.5 Because I know colleges are a microcosm of the broader world, and so you oftentimes see what’s happening in world play out on colleges – campuses. You were in a really interesting time. Really close to 9/11 occurring. And that shaped, it sounds, like a lot of your experience. But also, during the time you were there, we had a presidential election. Hurricane Katrina hit. I mean, there were just a bunch of different things going on outside of the college, and I wonder how you saw that play out on the college campus.
Kathryn: Yeah, for sure. So, I felt like, because when I was trying to think back to that time, and like, think about what was going on, because I knew that was in some of the questions you’d sent. Maybe one thing to think about – so, I started to think about it, and like I said, the things that stand out to me were, September 11 – you mentioned Hurricane Katrina, which I kind of remember.
0:26:01.3 I mean, I know it was happening in the news, but it felt just so kind of so-far removed that I wasn’t as heavily involved in – and then obviously, like, after college, 2008/2009 was the big recession hit. So, I felt like I was in this weird kind of time-frame where maybe like a lot was going on, but nothing really kind of really hit home for me. Maybe because I was in this like little bubble at William and Mary, I felt like. And I was in my sorority and kind of wrapped up in other things, and I was studying economics. I was very interested in kind of international aspects, and I was so focused on like, doing good, and helping, that I was, I think, looking at other things and not really kind of paying attention to what was happening in the world, to be honest. For better, for worse. I don’t know if that was the best thing.
But another thing that does stand out to me in 2007: I remember being in the career center, or, I’m not even sure what it’s called anymore, but there’s like little food underneath. It was like that main place where you get your mail.
Carmen: Yeah – the Sadler Center.
Kathryn: Yes. I think that was –
Carmen: Or it was the UC, at that time.
Kathryn: That’s it. The UC.
0:27:01.0 I remember being in there, and walking through, and they had the little TV screens up there, and the Virginia Tech shooting had just happened. At the time, we didn’t have any rules or regulations. What do you do? You see this, and oh my gosh. So, they just kind of shut the doors. Everybody like – I’m getting like emotional, because I still remember it, like, you know – it was bad.
Carmen: Mm-hmm –
Kathryn: So, anyway, like again, we didn’t have a rules or regulations around it. It’s just like they shut the doors, and like, “Nobody move. Stay right where you are.” And everybody’s like, “Okay – is something going on like here? Are people being shot at? What do we do?”
Kathryn: So, that was like, something that still kind of stands out. And obviously like still impacts me.
Carmen: Well, so, as a Virginia, I think that hit so close to home.
Kathryn: My step-dad went to Tech, too. Yeah. [tearfully]
Carmen: Yeah –
Kathryn: Hokies, yup.
Carmen: They’re everywhere. There are a lot of Hokies...
Kathryn: They really are –
Carmen: at Williamsburg, too. But, do you remember then, things shifting?
0:28:00.5 Like regulations shifting on campus as a result of that? I think for the first time, at least for Virginia, that was – it just woke up Virginia to this thing that really could happen. And I’d like to hear how people saw that play out on different campuses. So, do you remember?
Kathryn: So, I don’t remember anything happening, like initially, to be honest.
Kathryn: And obviously, like it’s still happening. I don’t think anything’s changing. It’s crazy that that was 11 years ago. So, no – and I didn’t notice anything right away either. Like I said, they shut the doors, and they told us not to move, and they told us to just sit in there. But after that, it was like, okay. We remember, and we’re going to do a vigil, but then it just sort of went back to like normal campus. No one brought a – again, no one was like, what do we do to plan for this? Prepare?
Kathryn: So, I don’t know – like I said, to this day, I don’t know if anything is happening, or still –
Carmen: Yeah, that’s helpful insight. There was that initial shock factor, but yeah –
Kathryn: Right. Exactly.
Carmen: It’s a good question, what comes long-term from things like that happening in close proximity.
Kathryn: Exactly. Yeah. And it’s just something to think about with – William and Mary should be prepared for something like that, because you have such open spaces. Like the Sunken Gardens. I mean, something like that could easily transpire. And you just never know. But yes. But that is something I do remember, -
Carmen: Sure – absolutely –
Kathryn: that obviously hit home for me. Had a very big impact. And even – I think that’s why I get so emotional, because it’s still happening.
Carmen: Absolutely, and you know. I know we’re kind of on a hard line of questions that are difficult to recall. But sort of along those lines – things that happen on college campuses – things that were impactful on William and Mary’s campus – one thing I’m thinking about is sexual harassment and assault. Obviously, it’s been going on for as long as college campuses have existed, but at the time you were at school, it was somewhat frequently talked about. It was pretty openly talked about, at least in publications like the “Flat Hat.”
0:29:58.4 And I wonder if that was something – there was a general awareness or discussion about it happening on campus?
Kathryn: I think so – I mean, I don’t really remember that, to be honest. I mean, I know, obviously, it is prevalent. It was happening at college campuses. I don’t think it was quite as talked about and prevalent as it is today. Especially with like, the “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” and all that. So, I’m glad to see that it’s coming to light. But to be honest, I never experienced that, so I haven’t – I don’t have much on that topic.
Carmen: No, that’s fine. I like to ask, just in case there was some sphere that maybe that was discussed. But maybe –
Kathryn: No, I mean, it was happening, like you said. I think it probably was something that was talked about, but at least in my circles, I didn’t, you know, experience any of that.
Carmen: Okay. And so, another thing that happened that was pretty tumultuous, because you went at a very tumultuous time –
Carmen: is right – so, Gene Nichol was president during, I guess, your senior year.
Carmen: Do you remember any of the controversy kind of swirling or surrounding that, or what that was like during that year?
Kathryn: A little bit, but at the same time, it was my senior year, so I was kind of like, out the door. I was like, okay, I’m prepping to get out of here. So, I do remember the controversy a little bit, but I don’t even know, like what the controversy was, other than – I remember there was one controversy around the Wren Chapel, and I think like whether there was a cross in there, or something. I mean, again, I was like – I am not really – I’m kind of open to whatever people want to do. If you want to put a cross in there, if you don’t – if you want to put whatever. To me, like, the Wren Chapel is just kind of a place of prayer and get away. So, that was one piece I remember, and I didn’t really have much to say on that.
And then Gene Nichol, again, I was kind of like, indifferent. It’s like, okay, well, I’m leaving. I get the legacy part, and we want to have a good president, but I was so focused on getting a job, I think at that point, -
Carmen: Sure –
Kathryn: and like my own career, that I was not really too worried.
Carmen: Yeah. Well, do you have any impressions or memories then, about Tim Sullivan, who was there before? I like to ask William and Mary students, in particular, because there is somewhat of a closer proximity just to the presidents than maybe some larger schools.
Carmen: Do you have any memories, specifically, of Tim Sullivan?
Kathryn: I just heard that everybody loved him. I think it’s like – that’s part of the controversy – was, he was so well-liked and so well-loved, and everybody talked about him, to then, when he’s leaving, of course, if someone’s so well-liked and loved, and the student body loves him, of course it’s going to be a controversy when someone new comes in, regardless of who it is. It’s like, okay, it’s not Tim Sullivan. So, yeah. So, that’s all – I remember him as being like, well-loved by the student body, and everybody wanting to be with him, and doing – I think he was very involved in things and so – I don’t know if I ever met him, though. I can’t really recall. So, yeah.
0:32:56.2 So, before we transition to your time, well, after William and Mary, before coming back to William and Mary – are there any other difficult or challenging experiences you had while you were a student, be they social or academic, or anything like that, or any ways that you felt particularly supported or not supported during your time at William and Mary.
Kathryn: Yeah – so like – I kind of continued talking like I just felt like I was lost. And like very, not on my own, because I’m sure there was a support network if I wanted one, but I just felt like I could do it. I can solve all the problems I need to do it on my own. I don’t need anybody. I have my friends. I can talk to them. So, I think for me it was like, exactly – I felt like I was just on my own a lot. So, like, I did have a good time, obviously. I learned a lot. I have good memories, fond times.
But I also remember hard times. I didn’t know – we talked about major. I did feel lost a lot. What am I going to do after this? Where am I going?
0:33:56.8 I think also, because you’re meeting new people, and you’re constantly changing – so I moved from DuPont Hall, then my sophomore year, I think I went to Jefferson Hall. For my junior year, I moved to the Kappa House. And sophomore year, we moved off campus. So, it’s constantly, like changing. You’re going from one year to the next. You’re like, the time flies by when you’re there. Like, oh my gosh, how is it over already? I think the friends that you live with, you obviously become very close with, but I find it interesting that the friends that I lived with, I’m actually not as close with, today.
Carmen: Mm-hmm –
Kathryn: So, my best girlfriends that I keep in touch with, were people in my sorority that I actually maybe wasn’t as close with. So, I think that that dynamic’s also just interesting. Maybe it’s like life stages that you’re going through.
So, I got married. My other girlfriend was getting married, so we were in kind of the same stages of life, and maybe that’s why we’ve remained so close. So, yeah, I think it’s everybody’s kind of finding themselves, which – it’s hard sometimes. And I wonder, if I hadn’t joined a sorority, what that would have been like.
0:35:00.2 I think I would have had totally different friends. I think it may have been – I don’t want to say a better experience, because I loved my experience with my sorority sisters, but I think it could have been, maybe more helpful. Because I think a sorority – not that it’s superficial--I hate using that word– but you know, people say like, oh, you’re buying your friends. Which, when you’re new to something, maybe you need that. You need a sorority to kind of like help guide you and find your friends. But at the same time, I could see how maybe I could have found a smaller group of friends, who would have been more helpful and beneficial. And I know I kind of mentioned that eye-opening piece of the wealth and money at William and Mary. For me, I didn’t even come from that. I came from a very middle-class background. I think sororities do come from that wealthier background. So, for me, too, I felt like, okay, I don’t really fit in here sometimes. Like, I don’t know, and it opened my eyes to like, there’s finance. If you want to go that route. There’s so much money in that world, if you become like a finance person, or investment banker, or hedge fund manager.
0:36:02.9 Terms like – in undergrad, like I didn’t even know existed. Like, what is a hedge fund? What does that even mean? I have no idea. So, that’s where, again, I was just sort of – my eyes were opened to so many things. Like, oh my gosh, I don’t even know what I’m doing. I have no idea. So, I know that was a long-winded ramble to answer about my undergrad experience and difficult moments, but I think I was just trying to find who I was.
Carmen: Okay – yup. I think that’s the case with a lot of college students. It’s a weird time that can’t be replicated. A very interesting type of time, in a very specific place, and yeah –
Kathryn: It really is. It’s – yeah. So, I kind of wonder the different paths that can go down.
Kathryn: Like, had I not joined a sorority – like I mentioned. If I would have had a smaller group of friends, how would that have panned out. Would I have maybe found myself a little bit sooner? Because I think I didn’t find myself until after college, where I was really was, like, okay, I know what I’m doing. I don’t want to be a lawyer.
0:37:00.6 I’m not doing this. I’m going to business school. I want to be a business person. Yeah. So, I think there’s those dynamics. And I don’t know. I just wonder.
Carmen: Yeah. Are there other things like, that you, when you think back on this that you would have gotten involved with, had you chosen a different path?
Kathryn: I think that – I lacked a lot of confidence, too, I think. So, exactly. I think you hit it there. I would have joined maybe more clubs. I would have been more active in things. Enjoyed sports. I just didn’t – I just kind of stuck to myself, too. I’m a runner. I’m going to go running, which is a very independent thing to do. And also, I think I mentioned it before, I was kind of timid; I was scared. Okay, I’m not as smart as these people. So, I didn’t join clubs, because, well, I don’t really know if I should be doing – which is something that was so opposite in high school. I mean, in high school, I was the president of the class. I was the president of the Spanish club. I did everything. To go from everything to then – I think I just got too intimidated by people, which, I can’t believe I let that happen.
0:37:59.5 But, something about that like, time right after high school, where you’re finding yourself, and you just feel like everyone around you is maybe, smarter. I think that intimidated me. So, I did not get involved in a lot. And I kind of – not that I regret that, but I wish I would have had just the courage to do that, for sure.
Carmen: That’s really interesting, that whatever your identity was in high school, if you come and everybody else also had that identity, it actually leads you into a – search for where you fit then.
Kathryn: Exactly. I think you hit the nail on the head. I really didn’t know my identity, or who I was. And so, I just kind of stuck to myself. I didn’t seek out mentors. I probably should have done all that. It probably would have been more helpful to have someone kind of guide me. Like, you should do this – you should do this, versus oh, you can do whatever you want. You can be whoever you want. Sometimes I find that – that’s hard. Sometimes you just need a little guidance.
Carmen: Too many options.
Kathryn: Exactly. And when the world’s your oyster, you’re like, oh, the world’s my oyster, I can do what I want. But at the same time, I don’t even know who I am.
0:39:00.7 So, how am I supposed to do this?
Carmen: Oh, oh my goodness. So, let’s transition then to post-undergrad, where you do start to figure that out, what your identity is. You said you were on the law track, and then –
Carmen: So, can you walk me through like, graduation, and where you saw yourself going, and then how that changed?
Kathryn: Sure. So, graduation, I had a job lined up. I was going to be working as a litigation paralegal for a law firm in Richmond. They’re called Williams Mullen. And that was sort of my plan, like, okay, here I go. I’m going to go to law school in a couple years. I joined that team, and my boss at the time, he was great. Great mentor, and he was a litigator, so you’ve got to balance that, maybe not the nicest person in the courtroom, or in general, but for some reason, to me, he took up a liking, and he was a great mentor to me. The paralegal – they kind of hired us in classes, I guess. So, there were three paralegals ahead of me, and then three of us came in. The one paralegal ahead of had gone to William and Mary.
0:40:00.1 She went to my high school. We have the exact same background and demographic, like everything – we were the same person, essentially. So, she and I became, obviously really good friends, working there. All the paralegals, we kind of bonded, and had fun. And actually, those are the ones I was out with when I met my husband.
Carmen: Mm-hmm –
Kathryn: So, ended up working there for two years, and at the end of the two--I say like, end of the two years, because that was kind of the typical – be a paralegal for two years, go to law school. That was like, the rotation. But, I decided I didn’t think I wanted to do that.
So, then again, I’m like, oh no! What do I do. But I went to my litigator, who – my mentor, and I just asked him, you know, “What do you think I should do? Because I don’t know if I want to do law school.” And the 2008/2009 recession had hit. That kind of like whole, Lehman Brothers falling – everyone’s applying to law school, because they don’t know what to do, either. So, I was like, okay. I don’t know if I want to go to law school. I think I’m just doing this, because this has always been like the path I decided on.
0:40:59.7 I also don’t want to be going with everybody at this time. This just doesn’t seem right. And he was the one who was like, “I think you should go to business school. Maybe apply to business school instead, and see what happens. Or apply to both, law school and business school.” So, that’s what I did. I applied to both. I’ll just apply and see what happens. And I decided William and Mary Business School, because they were great enough to provide a lot of scholarship money, and I was like, if I can go for pretty cheap, I think this is a great path.
So, I ended up going back, and that kind of helped. That’s what shaped and formed why I went back, and kind of life after – after graduation.
Carmen: Sure. And so, when business school was being recommended, I mean, did you have an idea of what you wanted to do in business? Or did that develop more in business school?
Kathryn: So, I think I knew I wanted to do consulting of some kind. Because that was another piece of still working at this law firm, they did this pro bono work on the side for immigration law, and I saw, working with USCIS and Customs, and kind of helping immigrants through the process, how just inefficient it was, and how long it takes, and it was all paper-based.
0:42:05.9 And this is like 2007/2008 – why are we still mailing things in? We have the internet. We can do this. So, I just saw how things didn’t work right. And as I talked to people about it, they’re like, well, that’s consulting. You’re fixing problems. You should probably look into consulting. And my coach – the executive coach I mentions, he did human capital consulting, and like leadership development and executive coaching. When he told me what he did, it was, that sounds really cool. I think I want to do something like that. Then I just kind of realized that I need to make connections. I need to start networking. I’m going to talk to people. So, I went – I thought the career center, for me – at least in grad school – I just felt they were more supportive, and very helpful, and wanted me to succeed. And I’m sure undergrad would have been the same, had I gone to them. But at the same time, I said, I just don’t know what I wanted to do. So, how can I go and seek help when I don’t know where I want to go?
Kathryn: And so, that’s – again, they helped me. They guided me. They put me in touch with the right connections. It was – so, I remember talking to this guy, Jim [Haigie], at Deloitte, and Jackie Winters at Deloitte. And I remember those names, because they’re the ones that helped me get in the door, interviewed me, talked to me, got me in. Then I ended up at Deloitte. And I talked to them after – Jackie and I stayed in touch. And I’m still in touch with them on LinkedIn and everything. I mean, it was exactly – it was William and Mary, those business school connections that got me on my path today, and led me where I am.
Carmen: Alright. So, let’s talk about post-Deloitte, then –
Kathryn: Sure –
Carmen: So, you went to Deloitte, and how was your experience there?
Kathryn: Deloitte was great. So, I was at Deloitte for nearly five years. Yes – gosh – I’m just again with, five years – where did that time go? So, I joined Deloitte in November of 2000 – no, I got my offer in 2011, but then I joined in July of 2012.
0:44:00.4 And so that time, they wanted me in the D. C. office, because that’s where I was – William and Mary is obviously close to the D. C. office. That’s where I was recruited out of. And that was kind of my whole thing. I was excited to go to D.C. and work on the Federal side, because I worked with USCIS in a previous life, so this is exciting.
And then, Andrew, my husband proposed. And he was going to Atlanta. So, like, oh. I can’t go to D.C. if my fiancé is moving to Atlanta. So, I talked to Deloitte. I was like, you know, “I need to be in Atlanta, if that’s okay.” And that was totally fine with them. They were like, “Yup, you can go down to Atlanta. Not a problem. Just work for us down there.” So, I ended up down in Atlanta, and worked for the CDC, Center for Disease Control was my client down there for the five years. And that was just a phenomenal experience. And then you talk about William and Mary, down there. There’s – that’s how I met my best friend today. Her name’s Anne. We met at a William and Mary alumni event. I mean, that – exactly. It’s those connections that keep things going.
0:44:59.5 There’s another woman – I think she’s actually here this weekend, Brooke. Another great connection that we have. So, I think if William and Mary just transpires itself in all the cities that we’ve lived in, and now we’re in Milwaukee, so I can go like, post-Deloitte.
Kathryn: Now, we’ve moved and we’re up here in the Midwest, and in Milwaukee. So, yeah, that’s – it’s been amazing. But I think, now I’m at a different company, and William and Mary, again, I think, is the one that kind of got me in the door at that company. That was the first thing they said. “We noticed you went to William and Mary.” Like, “How did you notice that here in the Midwest?” And, “Well, we know it’s, you know, East Coast, and really good.” Like, “Oh, okay.”
Kathryn: That’s a great reputation to have. So, I think William and Mary has just helped me throughout my entire career, here.
Kathryn: So, I’m really – I’m thankful for that.
Carmen: Yeah, definitely. Do you want to talk a little bit just about what your position is now, and what you do?
Kathryn: Sure. So, now I am at S.C. Johnson, which is based in Racine, Wisconsin, which is a little bit outside of Milwaukee, so it’s south, about 30 minutes or so.
Kathryn: And I am doing – my official title--it’s really long, but--I am the Manager for Talent Management and Culture for the North America Region, which, that is a mouthful. But basically, I do, just HR, internal consulting for them. I do a lot of their leadership development, performance management, and things that I was doing outside, as an external consultant for CDC and Coca Cola in the past, so honestly, if someone had asked me 10 years ago when I graduated William and Mary, if they had said, “One day, you’re going to be living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” I would have been like, “Oh, no – you’re out of your mind. You must be crazy. I don’t even know where Milwaukee, Wisconsin is.” I had to look it up on the map, when Andrew told me. He’s like, “Oh, I got this opportunity in Milwaukee.” “Okay, where?” Like where is that? Having grown up on the East Coast my entire life, I had all these different perceptions of Wisconsin, and Milwaukee, and what it is. So, yes, I constantly think about that.
0:46:59.3 In 2007, when I graduated, looking at where I am, and how I’ve been, and how I’ve gotten here, I would have been just like, “No, you’re out of your mind. There’s no way I’ll be living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What would take me up that way?”
But, I’m honestly in my dream role. This is exactly like five years ago, at Deloitte, if someone would have said, “Where do you want to be in 7 years?” I’m like, “Oh, I think I want to do internal consulting for a big company, and I want to be in like, HR, and one day, like an executive for HR, and all that.” And I think that’s actually like, kind of like going – it’s working out that way.
Carmen: Awesome. That’s great. And it sounds like you’ve listed a couple of ways already that your William and Mary experience has paid off and played out in different ways, getting you to this point.
Kathryn: It really has. And the connections that I’ve made. I think people – once you graduate, I think people are very excited to help you. I mean, when you reach out to an alumni, and just say, “I’m a William and Mary grad, looking at this. I’m interested . . .” I noticed in business school.
0:47:59.3 That was one thing where I finally had the courage and the gumption to be like, so what if I reach out? What if they say no. The worst they’re going to do is either not respond, or they’re not going to want to meet with me, or they are. So, what’s the harm.
Kathryn: So, I decided and I just started shooting out emails. I’d love to pick your brain on this. I just want to interview you. Like, informational interview. And I think people are happy to help. They want to talk about it. They want to talk about their jobs. They want to talk about what they did in the past, and I think William and Mary people in general are even like, I don’t know, more so, willing to do that. For sure. So, I think that would help me, because I would just talk to people. Pick their brain on everything. And then when we moved to Milwaukee, I reached out to the alumni center at the business school and talked to a couple of people, and I’m asking – do we have a group up here? Do we have an alumni group? We don’t. We have like 10 people. But, that’s okay. You know, we can start small and maybe form one. But, exactly. I think people want to connect people, and they want to help. I’ve noticed that a lot, just post-graduation, just how helpful it’s been.
Carmen: Great. So, you’ve mentioned a couple of times you’ve connected with alumni networks in any given place, like Atlanta, or searched for one, at least in Milwaukee. So, that’s obviously why you’ve kind of stayed involved with William and Mary since you graduated. But are there any other ways that you’ve remained involved?
Kathryn: So – I’m trying to think. The alumni network is the main way. I try to get back to campus whenever I can. I know there’s events and things, and like homecoming. I try to get back. My ten year was this past year, so 2017. We couldn’t go, just because we had moved to Wisconsin, and I was like, oh, we just moved and we’re getting settled. Unfortunately, like, I’m just not going to be able to – and there’s no non-stop flights, random tangent—but it was very difficult to get there for a weekend in October. So, we didn’t make it.
But yeah, any time there’s like events – I know there was an NBA thing that just happened in May. I really wanted to go, but again, I just couldn’t get there. So, I’m definitely on all these distribution lists, and try to stay connected.
0:49:59.5 These destination events that we are here for today, definitely part of these, I saw last year they did New York, and I think they did D.C. before. Didn’t make it to either one of those, but, I try to stay connected and involved wherever possible. And then, with Kappa, my sorority, that’s another one. I know it’s not technically like William and Mary-based. But I’m in the Kappa Alumni Chapter, which they do have one in Milwaukee. And I was in the one in Atlanta, as well. Again, my friend Anne, she’s also a Kappa, so that also helps with, you know, why we are so connected. But again, I try to go to the Kappa conferences. Or if there’s my book clubs – the Kappa Book Club. So, I try to stay connected, at least, and meet friends through those ways, for sure.
Carmen: Okay. So, when you return to William and Mary, or just through the news, things you’ve heard about how William and Mary’s changed, what changes have you seen or heard about, and what do you think of them?
Kathryn: That’s a good question.
0:51:00.3 So, I’m very in tune with the Business School.
Kathryn: And I know when I was there, the business school rankings weren’t as high as they wanted to be, and I know they’ve been moving up. And they’ve been doing a really good job of that. And I know that – a big thing for them, too, I think that’s why they were so engaged, and involved, and they want people to get jobs. And we’re so active. Part of the rating is, how employed are your people when they leave. So, I think the business school has done a great job of really helping with that, and the rankings. So, I’ve been watching that on the news.
And I know we have a new president. Woman. Saw her on the cover – I actually didn’t know that, I’ll admit. I checked the mail yesterday, before we left, and I had the magazine. And it’s like, oh yeah. And I did see an interview with her. But I really wasn’t following that. And then I saw we have a female! This is awesome. Great! So, that. I did see that. And obviously, William and Mary’s reputation is so very strong. My cousin’s there now, so he is a junior and he still says the same thing. Oh, it’s a great school.
0:52:00.7 He’s very much, I think, like I was. A little lost. I don’t know what I want to do. I think I want to do finance. I think I want to do business. And here, I’m trying to – yes, you should do finance. I think that’s great. I’m trying to point him in a direction. Obviously, being an advocate for the business school, too. So, he is doing finance.
But, so I try to stay connected, and through the news I did see the new president. But that’s really – I think being in Wisconsin is hard, -
Carmen: Sure –
Kathryn: to be honest. A lot of people don’t know William and Mary. It’s a lot of Northwestern, Chicago Booth, and Notre Dame is huge in Wisconsin. So, it’s hard to kind of stay connected and hear what’s going on when I’m so far removed from it all.
Carmen: Yeah, absolutely. Well, do you have any changes in particular you would like to see happen in William and Mary’s future?
Kathryn: I don’t think so, no. Oh – the other thing I have in here is the “Go for the Bold” campaign. That’s huge. No, sorry – I totally just – you were saying things you want to see changed for the future, and it made me think, money, and giving as much as we can, back to the college.
0:53:01.2 And it’s important that it’s a public school. A lot of people think it’s private, but it’s not. So, we, as alumni have a duty to contribute back, for sure. So, I just want to keep seeing that. I know that one day the Bold campaign, or the One Tribe, One Day is huge –
Carmen: Yeah, One Tribe, One Day.
Kathryn: And I would just like to see that continue to grow. I think that’s a great campaign that they do every year.
Carmen: Great. So, considering the year, and so – 2018/2019 is the 100th anniversary of co-education at William and Mary. So, the 100th anniversary of women as students at the college. Tons of events happening around that. Very exciting time. Very exciting time for us to get the first female president, as well.
So, considering we’re about to kick that off, can you just speak a little bit about the value and contribution of women as you’ve seen it play out at William and Mary or beyond?
Kathryn: Sure. Goodness. That’s a loaded question.
0:54:00.2 So, I – I could go a couple of ways on this. Just thinking. So, do you want the value and contribution of women at William and Mary? Or just like in general?
Carmen: Either way you want to go.
Kathryn: Either way. Okay. I think this is a tough question, just because I think, as I’m thinking through it, women in general, to be honest, have a tougher time, I think, with just jobs, and getting jobs, and negotiating. I will go back to my roommate. I think she is very strong. A very strong woman. She studied abroad, her sophomore year she went to Chile, and I found that just very inspiring. Oh, she’s going at sophomore year and doing that? And she kind of always knew what she wanted – she wanted to do international relations, which I did too, at the time, and then I think I got intimidated by her, yeah.
0:55:01.6 But she was just a very strong leader, and she would go after what she wanted. She knew she wanted to do this. Studied abroad, got a job after college, moved to New York, did finance, like lived in New York, this powerhouse woman. So, I think that she was like a great role model to me, honestly, just to follow her, kind of like her lead. Like wow! Renée is like a badass. And I think there are some women out there.
And then, in my business school times, in grad school, there was a professor – I think the women professors I had were great, too. I think that’s what – I was like, oh, we can do this. This has been great for me, just to see how, I don’t know, confident, inspiring and that you can do this. There’s nothing to be afraid. You can do it too. And I think that also, maybe is why, looking back on it, maybe why I didn’t go to law school, or decided not to do law, because it is such a male-oriented field, it seems like, and very like, outspoken.
0:56:01.5 And you have to do it this way, and you have to be very assertive in yourself. And not to say the business world’s not the same way, but, I think at the time for me, it’s – okay, I work with all male litigators. I didn’t work with a single female. All the paralegals were female. So, it was little things like that, that kind of, I think have twisted me to it, along the way, and showed me like, okay – I don’t know if I want to do this because it is male dominated. And female litigators – I think there was like one on the floor. And she was just not – she didn’t have a good reputation. And I don’t know why that is. Does she not have a good reputation because she’s a female? Or is she not a good lawyer? I don’t know. Why are we even talking about that?
I think another thing that’s randomly popped into my mind when I was saying that, but the flight – this is totally random – but I was just thinking about women, and this came up, the flight, that Southwest flight that was in flight, from I think from New York to Dallas that the engine blew, recently.
0:57:02.1 And the pilot safely landed the plane. When you listen to the news, they say the female pilot safely . . . but why? Why are we even bringing up like, female pilot? You know, it should be just like the pilot safely landed the plane. Got everyone on the ground – did her job. Like, I don’t even understand why it’s an issue. Not an issue, but why it’s even brought up. And I think that happens a lot. I think it’s happening in the business world every day. I think women have it – have it harder. Not to say that we have a chip on our shoulder, but at the same time, I think we kind of do. And since I’m in HR, I see a lot of this, for sure. And one thing in particular, we have the gender pay gap, that for sure stands out. I think another thing is kind of how women present themselves. If a woman is too assertive, she’s considered, you know, like a bitch. I hate to say that, but it comes out. It’s like, no. She’s just being assertive.
0:58:00.7 If a man does it, he’s not considered that way. He’s like confident and assertive. So, I think there’s like little things that women are dealing with, and it’s – not stereotype, but there are things that we have to overcome that men don’t even think about. And when I was negotiating for my job, I felt bad. I felt bad asking for more money. Like, this is weird. But my husband was like, “Why do you feel weird? You have great skills. You worked for Deloitte for five years. You worked for Coca Cola for two years. You have a phenomenal background. Why are you even questioning asking for more money?” But I’m just, am I worth that? Should I be asking for that. He’s like, “Yes, absolutely.”
So, in my negotiations, I ended up doing it. Again, I felt bad about it, though, which is not how I should be feeling. I should be like, no – I’m totally deserving of this. I’ve worked really hard to get here. This is absolutely the right thing.
So, I know I took that down a random path.
Carmen: No, I mean, it sounds like what you’re saying is that women have to navigate those challenges –
Kathryn: Exactly –
Carmen: continually, but they’re doing it. And they’re succeeding in the same way, while still having to navigate all those challenges.
Kathryn: Exactly. Well, if it’s coming to the forefront, right? I think, going forward, I think it’ll be much more apparent that we’re facing these challenges, and hopefully that won’t happen. And I know some of the training that’s going on – like Starbuck’s is doing it. Even our company is thinking about it, this whole unconscious bias thing – it happens every day. I mean, you can be looking at someone, and your like, oh – I like that person, why? Oh, because they’re like me. That’s an unconscious bias. And people do that all the time. And performance – I’m thinking HR – that’s where the right brain is going – but there’s this unconscious thing to it. So, same with being a woman. Oh, she’s a woman, I like her – or oh, she’s a woman, I don’t like her. It’s the same – same exact thing. But it’s definitely – it’s coming to the forefront, I think – I hate to say like, time’s up. But I think women are finally going to have a seat at the table. Yeah.
Carmen: Well, thank you for answering that. I know it was a loaded question. I kind of just threw that at you, right here.
Kathryn: There’s a lot of different ways that can be taken – it’s like, William and Mary – yes, women, but also then like also, career and outside of William and Mary, and what’s going on. And just women being CEOs and running the world, and that’s happening. I mean, there are not that many companies where women are at the top, but they’re definitely making their way. And there’s a whole host of other things around that, but exactly.
Carmen: Well, thank you for providing insights on kind of both of those – your – the women you saw at William and Mary, but also what you’ve seen, kind on the broader, professional field.
Okay. For the end of the interview, I’d like to turn it over to you, where you can just whatever thoughts you’ve had, memories you have, things we haven’t covered yet, this is your time to do so.
Kathryn: Sure. So, as we were talking, I think I’ve gotten a lot of memories kind of sparked, so I just wanted to bring up a couple of things that maybe I didn’t cover. You know, one memory or a couple memories that stand out to me. I know I talked about Kappa a lot, but some good memories.
1:01:00.3 We always used to do these philanthropy events, like cappuccino, or ca-pasta, or something – and for some reason, those just stand out, because we like prepping in the house, getting everything ready. Then you’re outside in that little courtyard area, and for some reason I remember the weather being good every year. We’re out there having fun, and doing this. And all the sorority girls on that court come by, and then all the fraternity boys come by, and I don’t know, I just remember that being like – a good memory. So, I wanted to share that.
And then also, thinking about the weather. I mean, springtime in Williamsburg is amazing. I just remember sitting on the sunken gardens and enjoying the sun. And that was always fun to do with friends.
One thing I haven’t talked about either, when we’re talking about the time, like being there 2003 to 2007 – so, my senior year, the Queen came, and that was crazy. And I know we just had the royal wedding. When I see her on there, it’s like, I saw you! I took pictures of you with a like, old school camera, because we didn’t have iPhones back then or anything. So, I had like – I remember that, too – taking a camera to events.
1:02:00.4 And bring a little, you know – I don’t even know what happened to those pictures, today. Thinking about it, I know I have my very old laptop that has all the pictures on there, and sometimes I’ll open it up, and I know that every college picture that I ever took is on there, and I’ll open it up and like scroll through. And we used to make those slideshows, like on Powerpoint, so you could just see them. But yeah, we didn’t have iPhones or anything.
Okay, this is totally random, but it just made me think of it. I was at a session in Chicago two days ago, talking to Face Book about, they were doing some presentation at a conference, and they mentioned, you know, I don’t know how many people are in here. We joined Facebook when it was thefacebook.com. That was me. I joined it when it was www.thefacebook, and it was only William and Mary people. Like it was only your college. Then it expanded to like other colleges. But it was only college kids, and now – look, like everybody can be on Facebook.
1:02:57.4 So, that just reminded me, too, of the times. We didn’t have Facebook. And I think I joined my sophomore year on Facebook –
Kathryn: So, again, it’s things like that. We take so much for granted. It’s like information and people and networks are at our fingertips today. I mean, back then we didn’t have – and also, the social media stuff, with pictures everywhere, and I’m kind of glad maybe we didn’t, because who knows what would be out there, right.
Kathryn: You know. So, little things like that. And there was just one other thing I wanted to bring up, was just the technology piece. I remember, too, when I studied abroad in Spain. We had – I had this little phone that was like an international cell phone, but I could only use it for a certain amount of time. So, I would tell my parents, “Okay, I’m going to call you at 9:15, because I know it’s 3:15 your time.” So, we would schedule calls. You don’t have to do that anymore. Like we have “WhatsApp” and stuff, so when you travel internationally, it’s just like, you text, like – “I’m fine. I made it.” Now, that’s also why my parents were so terrified. It’s like, we can’t keep in touch with you when you’re gone. We can’t – we have no idea what you’re doing. Because you have this international phone that only works for a certain amount of time.
1:04:00.0 I don’t remember the rules on it, but it was very odd. It was like, I couldn’t just pick it up and call. I had to be like, in a certain place. And I remember going to like, the internet cafes. That’s – when I wanted to post my pictures, I had to take the sim card thing, or the little thing to the internet café, put it in there, and then upload them to Facebook. Then all my friends back home were like, “We never see any pictures of you.” “Yeah, because I had to upload them, and it’s such a process, and it takes forever.”
Carmen: Totally different world. How quickly that’s changed, too. You had to get an invite from someone with a college, you know, email, to join Facebook in the first place.
Carmen: So, wow. And having to have the calling cards. Like buying minutes to speak on the –
Carmen: It was wild. Such a different time.
Kathryn: Such a different time. And even just phones in general. Like, I remember when I was there, I still had a little flip phone, that just called. Nothing else.
1:05:00.5 And I don’t know what the big one was at the time, like the Motorola Razr, I think it was – it was like that slim little, silver thing. I’m like – I felt so cool, because I had the Motorola Razr. It had different ring tones, and it can play like the “Sex in the City” theme song. I was so cool. Like James Bond. Yeah. So – anyway. Those were just things that came to mind that maybe we didn’t cover. So –
Carmen: Sure – absolutely. Well, thank you for adding those. Now I think those really place you at a specific moment in time for sure. If there’s not anything else at this time, we’ll go ahead and wrap it up.
Kathryn: Okay. Sounds good.
Carmen: Well, thank you so much.
Kathryn: Thank you.
[End of recording]
©William & Mary Libraries. Acknowledgement of William & Mary Libraries, Special Collections Research Center as a source is required.
Non-Commercial Use/Fair Use
Special Collections Research Center at William & Mary Libraries welcomes non-commercial use and access that qualifies as fair use to all unrestricted interview materials in the collection. For more information about fair use, see William & Mary Libraries guidelines here.
The researcher must cite and give proper credit to Special Collections Research Center. The preferred citation is as follows:
[Interviewee name], interview with [Interviewer name]. [Interview date], [Name of Collection], Special Collections Research Center, William & Mary Libraries.
Example: Powell, Michael K., interview by Carmen Bolt. June 12, 2017, 50th Anniversary of African Americans in Residence Oral History Project, Special Collections Research Center, William & Mary Libraries.
For commercial use of any sort, including reproduction, distribution, derivative works, public performance, and public display that goes beyond fair use, the researcher must obtain written permission from SCRC by contacting SCRC by email here. Permission will comply with any agreements made with the interviewee, interviewer, or donor of materials. This permission is valid only insofar as Special Collections Research Center at William & Mary Libraries, as owner or custodian of the material, has any rights in the matter. This permission does not remove the responsibility of the author, editor, publisher, or broadcaster to guard against infringement of any rights, including copyright that may be held by others. The researcher must cite and give proper credit to SCRC. SCRC reserves the right to refuse the right for commercial use.
For most unrestricted interviews, copyright has been assigned to Special Collections Research Center at William & Mary Libraries. When the copyright has not been assigned to Special Collections Research Center at William & Mary Libraries, copyright is retained by the interviewers/interviewees, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
SCRC works to uphold the obligations and legal commitments made to interviewees, interviewers, and donors of material. Some interviews have restrictions imposed by the interviewee, interviewer, or donor; restricted interviews are clearly marked. In such cases, it is the researcher’s responsibility to uphold the restriction appropriately and completely. Researchers may, for example, be required to obtain written permission from the interviewee or interviewer to quote from the interview. Contact SCRC with any questions about restrictions by email here.
Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which Special Collections Research Center at William & Mary Libraries and William & Mary assume no responsibility.
If an interview has been transcribed, researchers should quote from the transcript. If no transcript is available, reference to material in the interview should be taken from the audio recording.
For preservation purposes, use of audiotapes or videotapes will require production of listening or viewing copies. If a researcher requires the creation of a listening or viewing copy, the researcher will be responsible for the cost. For more details about audio/visual reproduction policies at the SCRC at William & Mary Libraries, contact the SCRC by email here.
If you are in need of any accessibility accommodations that require the creation of a listening or viewing copy of material, please let us know prior to your visit. You can also find information on the library’s accessibility services here.