Hailing from Hampton Roads, Virginia, Kathryn Brooks earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with minors in economics and music from Oglethorpe University. Kathryn began her career with The Coca-Cola Company in the areas of of finance and marketing. She served as U.S. finance manager of the company’s McDonald’s division and she led the creative operations for Coca-Cola Studios, the company’s in-house creative agency.
Kathryn was initiated into Phi Kappa Phi at Mercer University while pursuing a master of business administration degree in finance, and in 2014 she founded two lifestyle and fashion brands, Kathryn Style Boutique® and She’s Her Own CEO®. She is also a business consultant, professional success expert, and regularly serves as a mentor to students in the areas of personal branding, professional career success and e-commerce.
Kathryn believes in the power of business education and enjoys giving back to the university community. She serves on the President’s Advisory Council at Oglethorpe University and previously served on the Board of Visitors for the Georgia Gwinnett College School of Business.
Let’s get to know Kathryn!
- Why did you accept the invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi?
Accepting the invitation from the business school dean was an absolute honor! Phi Kappa Phi is the ultimate representation of scholarship and excellence across all academic disciplines, and I am proud to be a lifetime member.
- What is something you're impressively good at?
I am both left-brained and right-brained and can learn how to play musical instruments, especially woodwinds, quite easily. I was trained in the Yamaha Method as a child and concurrently graduated from traditional high school and the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts with a concentration in classical flute performance.
- Can you speak any other languages?
Other than basic Spanish and French, which I have used for business and vacation travel, I can read music and was an ‘A’ music theory student at the university level. According to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Music is the universal language of mankind.”
- What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
I spent my corporate career at The Coca-Cola Company, so my favorite occasional treat is a Coca-Cola Classic in the iconic and timeless vessel–the 8-ounce glass bottle!
- What is the best advice you've ever received?
The best advice I received was taken from a quote by spiritual leader Emmet Fox, “What you concentrate upon you bring into your life.” If your current thought patterns are consistently positive and you use that positivity to consistently work toward positive goals, you are much more likely to have a positive future!
- What advice do you have for your colleagues to help them thrive and not burn out?
While you should observe and learn from others, you cannot live someone else’s life. Read interviews, listen to podcasts, and observe others’ talents. While you may not be able to carbon‐copy them, you can figure out their techniques and how they are achieving success. Glean what you can and incorporate those skills into your own life.
- Why did you choose the field you studied in college?
I knew I wanted to be a business major from the time I was a child. I loved riding my bike and playing outside, but while many kids were role-playing “classroom and teacher” inside, I insisted on having a desk, toy telephone and a mini computer. I would pretend I was on the phone writing up stock trades and making international business deals from my room.
- What do you do when you're in the mood to do nothing?
I rarely have nothing to do and am never bored! I have always appreciated art and been a museumgoer. At the encouragement of my creative director, I finally moved beyond my art wallflower status this year by learning watercolor painting. I find the practice like yoga in that one must shut out all distractions and be all in to be successful. I am a novice but find myself eagerly carving out a few minutes each day for my calming art practice.
- What's the most adventurous thing you've ever done?
While studying abroad in France, I had a rare Sunday afternoon to quietly explore Paris and its environs all on my own. I carefully planned my day and journeyed off on the high-speed train for a beautiful afternoon at Versailles and its surrounding cafes and gardens.
- What do your friends love most about you?
I give great career and professional advice. My friends know that I only offer advice after I am asked first, though!
To learn more about Kathryn and connect, visit her profile within our online member community, here.
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