Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas A. Edison

Shortly after I graduated from college, I took a temporary position assisting the staff at the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine as they prepared for their annual meeting in Denver, Colorado.  The organization, I would soon learn, had thousands of members -- mostly M.D.s and Ph.D.s -- from all over the world who specialized in the research, development, and application of MRI.  These members would soon converge in Denver for a 7-day accredited medical convention with 9 parallel sessions, over 1500 poster exhibitions, and a technical exhibition featuring the latest equipment from 50+ companies including GE, Philips, and Toshiba.

My job, which I bit into with great force, was to assist the staff in anything and everything.  I alphabetized paperwork, ran errands, found files, took phone messages, and tied up loose ends.  Four short years later -- after learning from every conversation and transaction that came my way -- I'd wiggled my way up to top of the meetings staff and was directing conventions and workshops in Europe, Asia, North name it...all because someone had given me an opportunity on that very first day by opening the door.

We all have stories like this.  We've climbed ladders, gone out on limbs, built things from scratch; our pathways are varied and unique.  But I'm sure we all have something in common, too: strong hands that have reached out to guide us, pull us forward, and to lift us.

Kimberly & Katie
I have no doubt that my new intern, Kimberly Cooke, will take advantage of the opportunity in front of her in the same way that I did when I was her age.  The Chamber has tackled enormous issues this year and she is perfectly positioned to make an impact that you, our members, will feel.

I love when doors open for me and I love opening doors for others.  It's the way the world works.  If you're in a position to take an intern under your wing I encourage you to connect with the career centers at Chico State and Butte College.

Open the door to your business, invite someone inside, and change a career path (and a life!) in the process.

~ Katie


  1. Thanks for taking me under your wing at Velo, Katie. You definitely opened the door for me and my career coordinating volunteers and event planning. I appreciate all of your time, patience, advice, and friendship. You are a great mentor and your new intern is so fortunate to be working with you! Yes, I am taking the lessons I learned from you and applying intern started today. -Renee

  2. Renee, I've been thinking of YOU these past couple of days and the work we did together. It's been very inspiring to watch your career take flight and I'm proud of the mini role I played along the way. I love that you now have an intern who will learn the ropes from a master. Well done! ~ Katie