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Alumni Spotlight: Kaitlin Martin

This month’s Alumni Spotlight features Kaitlin Martin, who shares about her leadership journey and the skills acquired from 21st Century Leaders that helped her excel in her leadership roles. She currently works as a Business Analyst at MarketSource, and is a graduate of Northview High School (2009) and of Georgia State University (2013). Here is what she has to say:

Paint a brief picture of what you are doing now.

Currently, I am a Business Analyst at MarketSource where I work closely with the Corporate Innovation Team to develop key performance indicators, data visualizations, and reporting solutions for the different departments within the organization. One of my favorite parts of my role is being able to leverage my creativity to develop solutions to complex problems. I am currently learning how to incorporate agile concepts onto our team and how doing so will make our department more efficient overall. I have also had the opportunity to mentor and coach our summer interns, including a current 21st Century Leader member, Maya Ellison.

How did participating in 21CL transform you and lead you to where you are now?

Since graduating from Georgia State University, I have had the opportunity to work at Walt Disney World, GEICO, and MarketSource, an Allegis Group Company. 21st Century Leaders equipped me with the skill set I needed to help me excel in each of my roles. One of the most important skills I learned from the program was to always have a growth mindset. It’s incredibly important to be open to coaching and feedback and to make the effort to incorporate what you’ve learned. There is always room to improve and you can learn something new from each individual you encounter throughout your professional career.

And how did 21CL prepare you for your next steps? Going into college and taking on leadership roles, heading into a new era of professionalism, etc. What skills/tools/perspectives have helped you along the way?

21CL set me up for success by helping develop confidence, critical thinking, and a professional presence. This coaching was extremely valuable in helping me get comfortable speaking in front of executive leadership, analyzing situations to make informed decisions, and working effectively with a team. These skills helped me immensely throughout college as well as my professional career. Additionally, I’ve learned that having a positive attitude is one of the most important soft skills you can bring into an office. You can’t always control the situation, but you can control your reaction towards it, which can make or break your overall career.

Which programs did you participate in, and when? What skills did you gain or improve through those programs?

My favorite program I participated in was the Goizueta Youth Leadership Summit where we got to design a shoe for Nike. This experience sparked my creativity and solidified my desire to major in Marketing. From this summit, I learned valuable presentation, networking, and innovative ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking skills that I’ve taken with me throughout my career.

What was a memorable or ‘aha’ moment in 21CL? (Particular program, meeting professional and diverse peers, speaking in public for the first time, etc.?)

During the Goizueta Youth Leadership Summit, we had the opportunity to network with executives from Fortune 500 companies across the region. I learned that most people are happy to share with you the lessons they’ve learned from their professional experiences. This experience gave me the confidence to seek out mentors who can help further guide my professional career and ask questions that I may have been afraid to ask before.

Did 21CL assist you in developing a leadership style that makes you an effective leader? If so how? And have you recently learned something else about leadership? Please share!

Absolutely! 21CL helped me develop a leadership style that is collaborative, visionary, and strategic. I learned that empowering others and leveraging individual strengths is one of the best ways to build an effective team. I have also been extremely lucky to have several great mentors who have helped me develop my leadership style as well.