Katie is a passionate manager of a fantastic team and all of African Impact's projects in St Lucia. With a strong background in community development and the volunteer industry, Katie has been working for African Impact for the past 18-months and has loved every minute of it.
What is your favorite travel memory?
Most of my travel has been for work for various charities and so most of my favourite memories are revolved around times where I have felt that my work has been truly impactful on people's lives - after all, that's what we are all there for!
However, one of my stand out memories has to be swimming in the natural pools of Semuc Champay in Guatemala with my two best friends after a challenging 6-month project in Guatemala City. It was so nice to reconnect with such incredible nature - I've never felt so relaxed!
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
I have learned so much! The nature of this job has a fine balance of relying on experience, but also learning (quickly!) as you go.
I have had such amazing opportunities to develop and re-design community development projects, manage a variety of staff and volunteers (including very large student groups), build a network of local support and stakeholders for our projects and so much more. This work is very varied and no two days are the same - it certainly keeps me on my toes!
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
I think just in general what makes our volunteers and projects so unique is the shared value in what everyone gets out of the experience. So many of our return volunteers come back because St Lucia and our communities and projects have had such an impact on them as a person, it marks a special place in their heart that they feel a need to keep returning to.
Equally, our community members and beneficiaries also gain so much from our volunteers and so it's a really special and unique way to share an experience together.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
I would absolutely love to spend some time on our wildlife conservation projects in the Kruger National Park... or maybe one of our marine conservation projects in Zanzibar - I can't choose! I want to do so many of them! But definitely with a focus on the environment or wildlife; it makes a nice change from the community projects I see every day!
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
I had wanted to work for African Impact for years before the right position became available for me, and I was so happy with the working environment and culture once I started working here. Everyone is so friendly and positive and passionate about what they do... It's really contagious!
I would say that I am genuinely proud of my team every day. The work that they do, the impact that they have and the drive that they have for their work is truly inspiring.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
I would say the overall goal needs to be clearly communicated and the body of staff needs to be built up around achieving this goal. They say "You're only as strong as the team you have around you", and this is so true. Selecting the right staff with the appropriate skills is the only way to drive success.
That's why African Impact is truly amazing: because everyone is coming together with unlimited passion, to work towards the same goal of making an impact whatever we do.