Young Professional 2017: Katie Rousso
Katie Rousso, Education and outreach specialist at Gesa Credit Union
Hometown: Bothell, Washington
How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? I have lived in the Tri-Cities for just over three years.
What brought you here? What brought me here was my then-boyfriend, now fiancé, who was born and raised in this area.
Do you have any family? Pets? I have a wonderful fiancé and a dog named Sammy; they are my family and world.
Describe the company: Gesa is a local, community-involved credit union, offering its members a variety of financial services.
How do you stay competitive in your job/industry? I continue to educate myself on what I am doing. I love conferences and seminars because I am able to learn the newest trends in my particular industry. Being able to talk with people in a peer-to-peer setting, really helps me and motivates me to do better. I think there are always things to be learned, and I love learning!
Tell us about your business philosophy: My business philosophy centers around relationship-building. Something I have learned while working in my current position is that I have a real passion for building them. Relationships are so important in every setting, but building a relationship with those you work with is even better and it allows a culture of teamwork and respect to be created in the workplace.
What are your future career goals? Oh man, I have a lot. I have been interested in opening my own event planning business for a while and if that doesn’t work out I would love to be a part of a company where I can use my creativity to benefit them. I am young, so I am still in that phase of figuring out what I really want to do in life. It has been hard, but I think I am close to that point where I can tell people a concrete answer on my goals. It is exciting, but nerve-racking at the same time.
Who are your mentors and what did they teach you? My personal mentor is my mother, Barbie. She taught me the importance of hard work, not giving up and realizing that there is a plan for everyone. My professional mentor would have to be my supervisor at Eastern, Berto Cerillo. He was the first person to really see my potential and build on my strengths. He gave me the confidence to throw out any idea that I had.
What was the toughest business/career decision you had to make or obstacle you had to over overcome? I think the toughest business/career decision I have had to make is making the transition from working in college to working in the “adult world.” In college, I was very comfortable in my job as I had been with the organization for three years, but here I am in the “real world” trying to navigate the job market and it was really hard. I have hard to learn that I am young, and I have time to create a career for myself.
What do you like most about what you do? Because I am so new to this position at Gesa, I am finding out a lot of things that I like about my job. With being an education and outreach specialist, I am able to utilize and use all these things that I am really passionate about. I am able to plan/coordinate events, which I love doing. Also, I get to interact with people through the seminars and classes that I’ll lead. Another thing I like about my current job is that I am working with a company that is rooted in the community. Working for a company that respects its members and employees is awesome.
What was your first job and what did you learn there? My first job was my dream job as a kid. I worked at The Ranch Drive-In, a burger joint in my hometown of Bothell. When I was younger, I would tell my mom that I would work there, and I did! I worked there for about two-and-a-half years and learned a lot there. I learned about working within a team and I think I learned about working etiquette since it was my first job. I also learned about the power of working for your own money and the satisfaction it gave me.
If you weren’t in your current field, what would be your dream job? Oh man, there are so many things that I would love to do. I have passion for dogs, so I would love to run a pet sanctuary and perhaps the event planning business on the side. I could see myself being so happy doing both of these things, which is really important to me.
Tell us about your community involvement/community service: I love being involved within the community, so when I moved down to the Tri-Cities I made sure to get involved. I am currently the president of the Board of Directors for the West Richland Chamber of Commerce. Through this I am also a part of the Easter Egg Hunt Committee. This year I volunteered at the Kidz Digz Rigz event put on by the Kadlec Foundation and I loved that. I also oversaw Goodwill’s three Junior Achievement teams, where I became a $500 club member for the first time.
What word best describes you? Passionate
What is your biggest flaw? I think my biggest flaw is my inability to separate my home life and work life. If things are stressful in either, I bring it home with me. I am trying to separate the two and just be content and happy in both.
What is your biggest pet peeve? My biggest pet peeve is people who aren’t willing to be team players, especially when it’s crunch time. I think teamwork is so important, so when someone disregards that, it gets a little under my skin. Live and let live though!
What do you do to relieve stress? I struggle with this sometimes, so lately it has been my mission to find things that allow me to relax. I recently started painting rocks and that has been really relaxing. Also, I recently joined a mixed martial arts gym doing kickboxing and boxing.
Dream vacation? Honestly, the Oregon Coast. I love the crash of the ocean and the breeze you get.
Favorite book? Not much of a reader
Favorite movie? “Lion King”
Favorite band? Maroon 5
Favorite gadget? Probably my cellphone, such a millennial.
Favorite website? I love Pinterest. It allows me to be creative.
Favorite thing to do in the Tri-Cities? I love just walking around. My favorite walk is from Anthony’s to Howard Amon Park. That is also the walk my fiancé proposed to me on!
What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? I love singing and I almost went to Central to major in vocal performance. I love singing, but I don’t do it a lot in front of people.
Sign-up for our e-newsletter filled with featured stories and latest news.