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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Stern

The Value of Paving Your Own Path Katie Nolan

When I was in my first “adult” job at the Cotton Bowl, I got connected to Katie Nolan via email and I’ve always cherished the incredibly gracious email she sent back with more advice of how to handle the sports industry than anyone else before. Since then, I had followed her career from hosting and reporting at Fox Sports to now ESPN, she has always exemplified the kind of women I wanted to be in the sports industry.

She has one of the more interesting storylines of how she got the mothership of ESPN, starting out as a bartender who started creating YouTube videos on the side. Fast forward 10 years she’s opened my eyes with what she shares about that journey. Prior to this I was only seeing the highlights her life through social media, but I appreciated her opening up about the not so glamorous behind-the-scenes.

Like most women in sports, she’s dealt with her fair share if not even more cyber bullying, but she describes when she decided how she was going to deal with them and leaning into her turning the tables on them. I would easily say she’s one of the coolest girls I know but she reflects and regrets her “cool girl” phase, when she bought into the notion that just because she had unique interests that it didn’t make her superior over other girls.

Have you ever taken a career test? Katie did and those results accurate or not, were the reason she originally went down the path of studying public relations. What we discovered during our talk was that she was just hungry to have an answer of what her “purpose” was. However, she realized that she just had to listen to herself otherwise she would never reach a true satisfaction out of her career. Her journey was positively impacted when received her ADD diagnosis that didn’t come until later in her life but now it’s the reason she’s found her unique purpose in life.

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