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I returned to my hometown following graduation from Notre Dame in 2014 to edit a middle grade novel I wrote that was critiqued by Genevieve Gagne-Hawes, who discovered the Twilight Saga. After editing the novel and completing a TEDx Talk, the opportunity to work for Fighting Irish Media in the Notre Dame Athletic Department came up. I jumped on the chance to be the Social Media Program Manager to learn all that I could in social media, as well as to have the amazing opportunity to tell Notre Dame Athletics stories to an audience that I love.

What inspires you?
I’m a huge Harry Potter nerd, so J.K. Rowling, as well as Ellen Degeneres and Oprah Winfrey. All three women have dedicated their lives to allowing audiences to see the world from a unique and uplifting perspective through writing, interviews, TV shows and film. They also are dedicated to using their talents and resources to help people in need. From Oprah’s Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, to Ellen’s giveaways to help students attend college, and J.K. Rowling’s foundation, Lumos.

Katie, Tamara and Bonzie

Who was your professional mentor?
My professional mentor is my dad. He’s a real estate agent, and I grew up shadowing him at appointments with his clients and learned a ton on how to interact with people from all walks of life. He gives me advice every day on how to improve professionally.

What have you found is the best way to engage fans through digital content?

The best way to engage fans through digital content is to throw a lot of ideas out on social media, and see what content they find most compelling. Tracking analytics is one of the most important facets of having a strong social media presence. Know who your audience is, listen to what content they respond best to, and always experiment with new ideas to push the boundaries on what you create.

Katie at Football Game

What is something you still want to learn in this industry?
It’d be fascinating to sit down with Mark Zuckerberg and walk through his strategy on how he decides to create new features for Facebook, how demographics influence the type of campaigns and features he designs, and what he thinks will be the next big trend in social media.

What is your favorite music to listen to while working?
Michael Jackson, and right now I’m hooked on the Moana and 2017 Beauty and the Beast soundtracks.

Do you have a must read/listen to blog or podcast?
The “What Say You Podcast” by Sal and Q from the TV show Impractical Jokers. They’re comedians, are super entertaining and have a strong bond with their fans!

Is there an organization that you are passionate about? I am very passionate about the organization Dream Catchers, which fulfills wishes for patients in Hospice Care. It was founded by Notre Dame graduate Caitlin Crommett, and there are chapters in high schools and colleges across the U.S. I was lucky to be the president of the Notre Dame chapter in undergrad.

If you are traveling for work, whether it be for a game or conference, what is your must-pack items(s)?
Two phones, two chargers, two laptops. I have a work phone and laptop that I take everywhere, and my personal phone and laptop are backups. Working in social media, I’m always glued to both phones to keep up with what’s happening in ND Athletics.

Tamara Interviews Bonzie, Katie films-2

What is one thing your desk or in your office that is unique and tell us the story behind it?
I have a photo with Robin Williams. For my senior thesis, I was on the set of Modern Family for a week researching comedy television writing. Robin’s show, The Crazy Ones, was on the same lot as Modern Family, and I met him at a table read for his show.

What do you do in your downtime?
Outside of work I write middle-grade and young adult novels that I will be pitching to literary agents soon, and speak at elementary and middle schools to help students with creative writing and goal setting.

Is there anyone that you feel does exceptional work that you look up to? It can be an individual or a department.
I look up to Kevin Hart. His work ethic is insane, and the bond he’s formed with his fans on social media is genuine. I love how he not only shows his fans behind-the-scenes footage from each of his projects, but his message is always inspiring and challenges people to pursue their own dreams.