Kathy Tran has high goals, and she’s busy carving the path to reach them.
The freshman marketing student is the Brookhaven Courier’s creative multimedia director, the Brookhaven Bear’s official costume keeper, the Photography Club’s president and soon the RISD Excellence in Education Foundation’s summer intern.
Currently interning pro bono with El Creative Advertising and Design, Kathy accepted a paid internship with the Richardson ISD nonprofit, where she will assist with the organization’s annual RISD Spirit Run and the district’s Administrative Awards Breakfast.
On paper, Kathy seemed unlikely to get the eight-week career snapshot of a job – the position was reserved only for college juniors and seniors. However, Kathy’s already extensive experience and undeniable talent prompted Elizabeth Hart, president and CEO of the foundation, to make an exception.
“Her resume was extensive, actually more comprehensive than junior and senior applicants for the position that we offered,” Elizabeth said.
Elizabeth also couldn’t deny Kathy’s talent. While a student at the Richardson ISD arts magnet high school, Kathy’s work was selected twice for the Young Masters Exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art, and each year, her art – photography one year and painting the next – won a People’s Choice award. Kathy was the first Young Masters artist to win the honor more than once.
Among her responsibilities with the upcoming internship, Kathy is most looking forward to the interpersonal communication between sales rep and donor.
“I like anything that has to do with persuasion,” Kathy said. “I’ll research the people I’m meeting with and learn how to speak their language.”
An ace in the sales department, Kathy knows how to sell her skills. The self-proclaimed go-getter claims that her social and business skills, street smarts and talent were all part of the package deal that landed her the internship. Yet even a career savvy heroine like Kathy has her Homer Simpson – doh! – moments. In her first appearance as the Brookhaven College Bear, she unknowingly wore the costume backwards.
"I was dancing around, and everyone was laughing at me. I didn't know why. At one point I looked down and saw something flopping around in front of me--it was the tail!" she said, laughing at the memory.
Like a bear of the Rocky Mountains, Kathy is free to roam the campus grounds. She chooses when to don the costume and where to wear it. She likes to pop up at events and occasionally at the on-campus Subway to say hello to the lunch crowd. She got the gig when, as part of the Brookhaven Courier staff, she agreed to wear the costume for a photo in the student paper. With no one else in the role as mascot, the opportunity snowballed from there.
She also has a great sense of humor. Somewhat short, Kathy has been asked by fellow students why the Brookhaven Bear is so vertically challenged. Her answer? "Because of budget cuts."
Kathy’s internship is made possible through the Exxon Mobile Community Summer Jobs program. She first learned of the opportunity through the job board in the Career Development Center.
Kathy plans to complete her second year with Brookhaven College, then transfer to Southern Methodist University to study creative advertising. As a recipient of the district’s Erin Tierney Kramp scholarship, her tuition at Brookhaven College is free.