Kathryn Adair Wolter: Former KD President, PR Manager and Personal Trainer

Name: Kathryn Adair Wolter

Graduation Year: 2013

Major: Media Communications Studies

Hometown: Sarasota, FL

Occupation: Marketing Director, Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer at Sweat Therapy Fitness

Courtesy: Kira Derryberry

Her Campus (HC): Why did you decide to run for KD president?

Kathyrn Adair Wolter (KW): I’ve always gravitated toward leadership positions and the same was true with KD. After serving as an executive council member overseeing our chapters philanthropies, president seemed like the natural next step to continue serving my chapter.

HC: Did you work while you were in college?

KW: Absolutely, I’ve had a job since I was 15. I started my freshman year as a waitress, then moved to working the door at Potbelly’s and bartended there my senior year.

HC: So you were bartending your senior year of college, were you freaking out about the next step after graduation?

KW: Oh yeah! I had set a personal goal of including a business card in my graduation announcements. It was very important to me to have a “successful job” in my field lined up even before I officially graduated.

HC: Define “successful job.” Would you say you achieved that goal?

KW: For me, a successful job was a position in corporate America at an advertising or PR firm. And yes, I accomplished my goal. I was hired as an Account Coordinator at the firm I had interned with throughout college in my hometown of Sarasota.

HC: So, what brought you back to Tallahassee?

KW: A boy, of course (said laughing). Spring of senior year I started dating a guy and moved back to Tallahassee to be with him. We’re still together for the record (again, laughing). When I knew I wanted to move back, I began looking at jobs and was extremely fortunate to land an Account Coordinator position with the Zimmerman Agency—the second largest hospitality PR firm in the nation.

HC: How was your #MyZLife?

KW: AmaZing and craZy! I have nothing but good things to say about the Zimmerman Agency. I learned so much; I traveled to beautiful places, stayed at five-star resorts and really enjoyed working with a ton of wicked smart and powerful women.

HC: Sounds awesome! Why are you now at Sweat Therapy Fitness?

KW: Looking back, I think I felt pressured to get a corporate job in my field to prove I was using the degree that cost me so much. I felt obligated to climb the corporate ladder and was proud when I received promotions, a window office and longer titles. With all that said, I knew deep down I didn’t want to sit at a desk for 50+ hours a week for the rest of my life.

HC: When you decided to leave, were you scared to lose your Z status and the lifestyle that came with it?

KW: YES! No, but really, totally! When I introduced myself as an account manager at The Zimmerman Agency people automatically thought I was smart, well-traveled and extremely stressed out; all assumptions because of my corporate career. I was scared if I went to work for a small business I wouldn’t get the same “positive” response.

HC: What is your title now at Sweat Therapy Fitness (STF) and how do people respond to you?

KW: I’m the Marketing Director, a group fitness instructor and a personal trainer. As for the response, it’s amazing! People still think I’m smart, but now they assume I have great work-life balance, which I do.

HC: What gave you the courage to leave the corporate position at Zimmerman?

KW: I met Kim Bibeau, the owner and founder of STF. The first time I met her, she was overflowing with passion and I could tell she was living her dream. She left her corporate job with the state of Florida to start her own small business, hoping to make a difference in her community. I thought, “This is better than any corporate title I could ever have.” I also took note of her right hand man, well lady really, the Fitness Director, Cecily. I saw Kim entrusting Cecily, who is about my age, with a huge amount of responsibility and empowering her to be a real decision maker for the business. I knew joining STF would provide the same empowerment I was used to at Z, but with a more local impact and less time spent sitting at a desk.

HC: Looking back, are you glad you had the courage to put your happiness over status?

KW: Absolutely. At Zimmerman, even though I loved my clients and internal teams, I was working for someone else to improve their business. Now every day I’m directly impacting people’s lives and being a positive influence in my community.

HC: What advice would you give to those who think the only way to succeed is on the corporate path?

KW: The corporate path definitely works for a lot of people and makes them happy and fulfilled. However, it’s important to know you don’t have to be one of those people. Take it from somebody who took the leap, doing something you’re passionate about is more fulfilling than any title, raise or job perk. At the end of the day the reaction I get from people about my career isn’t nearly as important as how I feel about my job.