We had the good fortune of connecting with Kai Oliver-Kurtin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kai, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Networking, hard work, and saying yes to every opportunity! At times, I’ve attended upwards of four or five industry events per week. You never know where or when you’re going to meet a key connection or establish a professional relationship with someone who is critical to a new opportunity. When new opportunities are presented to me, I always say yes when it comes to learning more. I’ve also never shied away from hard work, even if it means late nights, early mornings, or working on weekends.
Let’s talk shop! Tell us more about your career; what can you share with our community?
I’m most proud of the bylines I’ve landed in top news outlets, from USA Today and HuffPost to Fodor’s Travel and Marie Claire. There’s no better moment for a journalist than seeing your work published. It’s certainly not an easy career path, and lots of hustling and persistence is required to succeed. My tenacious, optimistic spirit keeps me going. Challenges should be viewed as learning lessons, and have certainly helped give me tougher skin. I’ve learned that so much of life is about luck and timing – you can have an incredible idea or be the best person for the job, but that doesn’t mean everything will work out exactly the way you had hoped. But more times than not, you’ll end up exactly where you were meant to be. Everything always works out in the end – if it hasn’t worked out, then it’s not the end.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It’s really hard not to have a great time in San Diego. I always recommend Little Italy for food and drinks, La Jolla for shopping and strolling, Coronado for a beach day, Torrey Pines for hiking, and Balboa Park for museums and photo ops. The arts and culture scene is thriving in San Diego – my favorite tradition is sitting outdoors for San Diego Symphony’s Bayside Summer Nights concert series. Also, you can’t visit America’s Finest City without having fish tacos and craft beer!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m so grateful for all the supportive English, journalism, and communications professors I’ve had over the years. They taught me the power of words and the importance of clear, strategic messaging. Thanks to them, I gained so many valuable tools to succeed in my career.