By Tori Quinn
As we continue our “Been There, Done That” series, where our WE Summer Interns interviewed fellow employees who also started at Waggener Edstrom as an intern, check out our newest post! Anna Reilly, who interned with our Microsoft account this summer and is currently an Account Coordinator on our Microsoft SWAT team, interviewed Kim Davis, Sr. Vice President of our Technology Practice. Read on!
Been There, Done That: Storytelling With Kim Davis
By: Anna Reilly
Interviewing a senior vice president can be intimidating for anyone, but I was especially nervous as an intern fresh out of college. However, sitting down with Kim Davis, senior vice president, Technology Practice, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE), I was put to ease immediately with one simple comment: “I was an intern, you know.”
Breathing easy knowing I was in good company, Kim and I chatted about food, travel and how to take your personal story and use it as inspiration around storytelling for clients at WE.
Kim shared her love of reading with me and told me how that translates into her storytelling role with clients. “Every good book or movie has a hero, resolution, storyline or compelling transitions,” she said. “Those are all the things that keep you engaged.”
Kim enlightened me by sharing that when working with clients, you have to achieve the same level of storytelling as movies and books — you must keep the reader engaged. Working on the Technology Practice, she explained to me, you don’t need to know every detail about the technology itself, but you do have to be a great storyteller. Kim wants to know the “so what” of the story, emphasizing components such as “take me on a trip, give me bragging rights, give me a cliff hanger, show me the tension.” She craves knowledge of her clients’ deeper stories.
The ability to tell a good story also comes from someone who has lived one, which Kim has definitely done. Kim has traveled around the word, from Costa Rica to Chile (where her husband proposed to her), and seeks to explore where no one else has. Her most notable adventure came from her travels to Antarctica. She loves to take the road less traveled and desires to do and see things that might seem remote or mysterious to others. She shared with me her next destination of choice is Africa, which is somewhere I have traveled, and we swapped reading lists of African novels that tell stories of the culture, history and landscape.
When Kim has time off she enjoys getting lost in a good book at a local coffee shop in southeast Portland, being on the water (maybe even on a dragon boat, which she used to race) or taking pictures while in nature. She is particularly interested in the slow food movement and has experience in the garden and in canning her own food. Kim loves to slow down in her time off, in contrast with her busy work life, and enjoys creating something tangible, whether that is a wonderful organic meal or prints of her favorite photographs.
After my time with Kim, I not only had a list of books to check out, but I also left with some words of wisdom. Kim taught me to stay interested, engaged and curious throughout my career and also in life. She encouraged me to see the world and strive to dig deeper to see the real story of what’s going on around me.