Berkeley Today Stories
Up Close with Katherine Conits
What does success mean to you?
My definition of success is engaging in rewarding and meaningful work every day, and investing in communities for a sustainable future.
What initially inspired you to enroll in Berkeley College?
The College has strong brand recognition for business school program excellence and it offers a valuable internship program. Berkeley College celebrating 85 years is powerful testament to that!
How did Berkeley College prepare you for success?
Berkeley College’s executive internship program provided me with instant access to executives’ mentorship in the company workplace where I was assigned. The College’s advanced business curriculum also provided the necessary tools to succeed and excel as a student.
The overall valuable experiences, and in-depth knowledge gained, provided many beneficial teaching moments, which carried me through a successful corporate workforce entry. Those experiences also resulted in my becoming a contributing member of ITT and confident leader at a very young age, catapulting to high-level positions, including when I was named the Legal Transfer Agent for ITT Corporation Shareholder Services division.
In which way(s) do you see yourself being successful in the future?
I consider myself already fortunate. Throughout my 30 plus years in the corporate world, I have had many rewarding opportunities and memorable experiences to last a lifetime. Continuing to serve as a company ‘goodwill ambassador,’ developing and cultivating fruitful relationships with the non-profit community, and providing charitable grants to meaningful organizations in need is where success is measured. It’s a privilege and honor to work for industry icon and compassionate philanthropist Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman & CEO of Starwood Capital Group and Founder of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
What was your most memorable moment at Berkeley College?
When I earned the exciting job offer lined-up at ITT after graduating from Berkeley in 1983. I completed my internship program with the Human Resources division of ITT, and was immediately hired full-time by ITT in the Shareholder Investor Relations division. To this day, I’m forever grateful to Berkeley for the curriculum and grand opportunity with the ITT internship program.
What advice would you offer today’s college bound students?
To achieve high goals, you need perseverance, thirst for knowledge, strategic thinking, and respect for others. If you can dream big, remain focused on and passionate about what you do, you can achieve rewarding, inspiring, and fruitful results. Don’t be resistant to constant change. Embrace challenges, and take on new job responsibilities for career advancement.