Thriving Near and Far
Katie Connon Gordon ’05 has navigated cross-country moves, international job interviews, and alumni networking throughout her career.
“Babson started showing me what the real world was like immediately. It’s a melting pot of so many different cultures and people; it instantly broadened my worldview, and is truly a force to be reckoned with.”
Boston, San Francisco, and Singapore are all cities Katie Connon Gordon ’05 has called home since graduating from Babson 10 years ago. For the past two and a half years, her home base has been New York City, where she is a business lead for lifestyle fashion at Google. She helps clients like Levi’s, TOMS, and Skechers execute strategic campaigns across the full suite of Google solutions.
A collegiate athlete, Katie has a competitive drive and set herself a goal to be employed before spring semester of her senior year. “I applied to so many jobs that were all over the map, literally and figuratively,” she says.
Encouraged by a former Babson field hockey teammate, Zemira Khan DelVecchio ’03, Katie pursued a position in sales at Boston-based TechTarget. It turned out to be a great fit, and she spent eight years with the company, working alongside many other Babson alums.
“I think Babson helped instill an X factor, an inner drive, in me and in the entire student body which will last for the rest of our careers,” says Katie. “Babson really gave me that confidence to go and hit the ground running after college ended. Instead of graduating and being scared or worried, I had complete confidence that I had a relevant skill set and knew how to handle myself in business settings.”
One undercurrent throughout Katie’s career has been learning to be comfortable in the face of challenging, uncomfortable situations. She moved to San Francisco to work with TechTarget’s team there without knowing anyone in the Bay Area. “I did some serious soul searching on that one-way flight, getting ready to start a new life for myself in California,” she says. The success of her move to San Francisco made the next jump easier, and when the opportunity came to open TechTarget’s Singapore office, Katie was ready.
She and her husband eventually decided to return to the East Coast, which made for a challenging inter-continental job search. “I had to get creative and find an open-minded company that wouldn’t think I was crazy to apply for a NYC position from Singapore,” says Katie. “I reached out to Alison Carabetta Gerten ’03, an old Babson teammate who worked at Google, and she was supportive and encouraged me to go for it.” After seven interviews held at strange hours over spotty videoconference connections, Katie got the job. “I love that Google saw potential in me even from 10,000 miles away,” she says.
Katie traces much of her success back to Babson, not just in the friendships she made during her years on campus, but also the real-life experience she gained. “Babson started showing me what the real world was like immediately,” she says. “It’s a melting pot of so many different cultures and people; it instantly broadened my worldview, and is truly a force to be reckoned with.”
As an alum, she sees the entrepreneurial spirit instilled in Babson students as a foundation for success. “It goes beyond just starting a business, and is also about taking the initiative or thinking creatively to solve a problem. That unique way of thinking is one of the most valuable things I learned at Babson.”