Katie Gunn is a native Vermonter who works for the management consulting firm Oliver Wyman in New York City. The firm’s Nonprofit Fellowship Program allows its consultants to take several months to work closely with a nonprofit anywhere in the world. Katie will lend her expertise to CLiF from July through October.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in St. Johnsbury and grew up in Rutland, so I’ve always felt Vermont was home and I miss it when I’m away. I went to Boston for college, which I enjoyed very much. I then moved to New York to begin my consulting career.
What drew you to CLiF?
After living in New York for two years and traveling a lot for my job, I decided I wanted to try something outside of the management realm. I’d worked for a nonprofit in college and I was interested in trying that again. Luckily my firm has a nonprofit internship program and supports me working here for a few months. Also, I’ve lived in cities for the past six years and haven’t really spent much time in Vermont other than for holidays. I wanted to see how I like living in a rural area as an adult.
My firm still works with and donates to CLiF every year [CLiF founder and executive director Duncan McDougall is also an alumnus], so it seemed like a good fit. And growing up I had plenty of access to books and developed a love of reading and that shaped who I am today. But growing up in Vermont I also knew plenty of people who didn’t have the same literacy opportunities. So I think what CLiF is doing to improve the culture of literacy in rural areas is really interesting.
What projects will you work on?
I’ll use the skills I’ve developed in consulting to analyze and improve the way CLiF uses data. I’ll also research national best practices in community literacy and examine how CLiF programs can have an even greater impact on rural communities.
What’s your favorite book from childhood?
Up to about age 10 my mom read with me every night before I went to bed. One of the books we read was Ella Enchanted. I remember being able to really visualize her world using my imagination. That was one of my favorite books we read together.