Katie Colton '12: Investing in the future
Katie Colton ’12 believes that the most important ingredient for professional success is being fully committed to the work you’re doing. “Not just investing time, but also your efforts, creativity, and ideas,” she says. “The key to success is simply hard work.”
“A good leader knows when to make decisions and when to lean on his or her team.”
Advised to “work hard, and the right people will notice,” Colton re-doubled her efforts. It’s paid off for the Programming Supervisor at NESN (New England Sports Network), an American regional sports cable and satellite television network. “When I started at NESN right out of college, I was the only woman out of 16 in my role, and the youngest employee,” she says. “I set a goal to work harder than my peers, learn something new, and ask for feedback.”
She continued to learn new skills on her own time, earning more responsibility and trust. “More than just advancing yourself, you must genuinely care about moving your organization forward,” Colton says. Her leadership philosophy stems from a “greater than an individual” principle. “A good leader knows when to make decisions and when to lean on his or her team,” she explains. “An effective leader should create stronger, better employees, which results in a stronger, better organization.”
Companies increasingly provide opportunities for employees to serve their communities. “NESN Connects is a program that organizes employee volunteers, but the organization wanted to create and run their own event in addition,” she says. Colton stepped up to help establish the now-annual NESN Baseball Tournament, which unites 40 NESN volunteers with more than 80 athletes with special needs for a fun day of baseball. “I’m incredibly proud to be part of this event and this company.”
The smaller size of the network allows her to participate in a multitude of projects and to learn every aspect of the business.
A graduate of Bryant’s College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in Communication, Colton is preparing to pursue her MBA at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. “Bryant’s amazing network allowed me to connect with Professors Michael Roberto and James Segovis – educators I didn’t have as an undergraduate student – and they offered me advice, guidance, and encouragement to apply to some of the top graduate programs in the United States.”
Cornell awarded her the Park Leadership Fellowship, which offers a multitude of hands-on leadership training programs over the course of the two-year full-time program, culminating in a service learning project. Colton’s exemplary work ethic, minors in Business Administration and Sociology and Service Learning, and recognized leadership experiences – including Commencement awards from the Communication Department and the George M. Parks Award for leadership qualities as well as a term as the Recent Alumni Trustee and current National Alumni Council member – will provide a solid foundation for her success in graduate school and beyond.