Meet Kat, our new project manager
Design-led businesses, circumnavigating Scotland in classic sports cars, and the challenge for SME's to find the right talent - just some of the things we talked to our new Project Manager, Kat, about.
Where has life taken you before Gather?
My background is in illustration and product design, and most recently I worked at Milexa Group. I started as a Creative Designer and latterly I was Creative Design Manager. As is often the case in an SME it was a pretty broad role – I looked after a small team and worked on everything from product conception and design to marketing and project management.
After working at a variety of creative SME’s, I’ve seen the challenges businesses face in times of growth. I’ve always been interested in leadership practices and work culture and wanted a new challenge where I could use my experience in the creative sector to play a role in something bigger. I’m looking forward to getting to know more people in the Gather community and helping to support them.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on Wave 3 of Gather’s Shift programme that starts in June, applications close Friday 4th June, so get in touch if you’d like to know more. We’re also deep in the planning for Beyond, our new programme that will start in the Autumn. We’ve got lots of Gather alumni and eco-system events on the horizon too and hopefully, we can hold some of these in-person in the near future – it’ll be great to meet people face to face again. I’m also looking at new ways we can engage with people and looking for feedback from the community on this.
What's been the best thing about joining the Gather team?
Everyone is so welcoming, friendly and supportive – and it’s like a well-oiled machine! I feel like I’ve joined a really solid, strong team full of experts in their field who have already developed and delivered so much. It’s a really exciting environment and I can’t wait to see where we take Gather next.
What challenges do you think the tech, creative and digital communities are facing at the moment?
I think for leaders there’s a real challenge finding the headspace to take a step back, think about your strategy and take advantage of the support and opportunities that are out there. That’s where Gather is so important and gives leaders focus, clarity, network and support.
I think there’s a lack of places to connect and find your business a diverse and talented team. Finding the right talent can really help your business grow – and grow sustainably. At Gather we want to make sure we’re connecting with underrepresented groups of leaders as well as the established faces in the LCR, we have some great female leaders joining us for our next wave of Shift, and hope to see more in the future.
What's your favourite thing to do out of work?
I love to travel, I’ve been lucky enough to do a couple of big trips around 4 continents, Asia and Australasia being my favourite. I’m a big hiker too, I recently drove around the North Coast 500 in Scotland in a little VX220, which was amazing – we climbed the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye and the Cairngorms in snow that was up to my thighs!
What are you most looking forward to doing when lockdown is over?
Well, I was supposed to be getting married last year and going to South America for a few weeks. It will be great if we can get all that back on track!
I can't wait to get on a plane and get exploring again, either here or abroad. I think everything about travel really stimulates the creative brain, the food, people, new experiences – I’m a very visual person and I really miss seeing new things.
Are you reading any books / listening to any good podcasts at the moment?
I’m really enjoyed reading Herding Tigers by Todd Henry , it really helped me as a Design manager. I love listening to books when I’m out and about and my on my current podcast subscribe list is Katy Leeson’s ‘I Shouldn’t Say This, But’, Katy is open and honest about so many different topics and great to hear a northern female voice.