This is my co-worker Kat Berg’s office fish. His name is Kevin (after pro basketball player Kevin Love), and she keeps him at her desk.
If you walk past Kat’s desk, you’d probably think Kevin (the fish) is dead, but you’d be wrong – hopefully.
“People just assume he’s dead because he’s not moving, but he’s just lazy,” says Kat.
That’s something that Kat’s working on. As HR generalist, one of Kat’s prime jobs is researching and implementing wellness initiatives, like fitness challenges, reimbursement programs and health screenings. She also manages recruiting, interviewing and hiring processes.
From Flintern to Flinster
Kat actually started at Flint as a public relations intern from Georgetown University in summer 2011. In fact, you might remember the blog post she wrote for us about her experience. Now, she’s back at Flint Communications – this time a full-fledged Flintster.
Just keep swimming
Kat and Kevin (the fish) have a lot in common (except for being lazy – Kat is anything but). They’re both most at home in water. Plus, Kat has partial gills that allow her to breath underwater for long periods of time.
But in all seriousness, Kat is an extremely talented swimmer. She was on the Georgetown Hoyas swim team and served as captain her senior year. Her specialty is the breaststroke, and she holds the university’s third-fastest time for the 100-yard breaststroke and the ninth-fastest time for the 200-yard breaststroke.
Kat showed me tons of swimming photos, but the following is by far my favorite:
With such an impressive swimming (and diving!) career, I was surprised to hear that Kat’s initial attempts at swimming were – well, unsuccessful, to put it mildly.
When she was 7 years old, she failed swimming lessons three times in a row. Her mom, determined her daughter would learn to swim, signed her up for the FMY Gators, a premier YMCA team for kids in Fargo-Moorhead.
“I probably wouldn’t have done that if I were her, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions ever,” Kat said.
Kat went on to represent the Gators at the YMCA National Swimming Championships five years in a row and was a standout swimmer at Fargo North High School.
She also lifeguarded at Fargo’s Island Park Pool for eight years, including last summer (which she says was her last. But let’s be honest, she said that the summer before, too).
Though Kat retired from competitive swimming last spring, she couldn’t stay away from the water. This year, she went back to her swimming roots and started coaching for the Gators. Check out her stellar profile on the team’s website.
“I get to coach the younger kids – ages 7-11 – so they’re super funny and weird. Spending a few hours a week with them is always bananas and often frustrating, but overall extremely fun and rewarding,” she says.
Kat says she likes having something to do that’s completely different from what she does at Flint. Her favorite part is seeing the kids absorb what she says and apply it to what they’re doing in the water. And when you put it that way, coaching isn’t all that different than wellness.
When she’s not at the pool, you’ll find Kat caring for her new baby.
Meet Regulus, also known as Reggie.
The name is a Harry Potter reference; Regulus is Sirius Black’s younger brother.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Kat, it’s that she’s ambitious, full of life and eager for the future. Plus, she’s absolutely hilarious. Check out her tumblr blog, Good Pintentions. You’ll know what I mean.
Get to know a Flintster: Q + A with Kat!
What’s your dream job?
If education and experience were not an issue, I would be an orca trainer at SeaWorld.
Which job would you not want to have?
A hot air balloon operator. I couldn’t deal with the heights.
If you were on the front page of the paper, what might the headline read?
“Recent Georgetown graduate has now watched every single thing on Netflix.”
If you had to describe yourself using three words, it would be…
Introverted nap enthusiast
What’s the best advice you ever got?
If you’re gonna be a bear, be a grizzly.
Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
Do you want me to describe my whole life?
What is something you’ve learned in the last week?
Businesses CAN pay to be on Angie’s List, contrary to what Angie says on her commercials.
Callin’ Baton Rouge by Garth Brooks. It has nothing to do with my life. I just like it.
What is your favorite kind of sandwich?
California Panini from Wisey’s in Washington, DC—chicken, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, avocado, Havarti and honey mustard on a warm croissant.
What’s a random fact about you?
I was North Dakota’s 2010 Cherry Blossom Princess. Fun fact: I fainted in the National Museum of Women in the Arts on the first day of this event. Huge embarrassment. Another fun fact: my best friend was the ND princess this year!