Kathleen Allen

How do you explain your profession to people outside of the industry? What do you find most exciting and/or rewarding about this work?

Our profession is about creating engagement in retail environments, and my role within that is to understand the needs of the consumers, the brand and the business to create a strong foundation for design. I love that this is always different for every client we work with – I get the opportunity to dive deep into different brands and really understand the nuances of who they are in order to create solutions that are truly unique.

What milestone or accomplishment have you made in your career that you are most proud of?

Every project feels like an exciting milestone! I learn something from every single client we work with. They help me grow and bring more to my teams and projects.

What is one notable achievement (personal or professional) that you've made over the past year?

I recently became a Senior Associate at Gensler. Before joining the firm, the process of being appointed was a bit foreign to me, but after being here for five years I’ve really come to appreciate the significance of it. In a firm as large as ours, it means a lot to me to be recognized as a leader by my peers and know that my contributions within a group of so many talented people make an impact.

What is a piece of media that has inspired you professionally?

Stylus is my go-to for inspiration, every article is rich with insights and ideas. Every time I log onto their site, I get lost in a rabbit hole. Each post leads me to something else I have to read, and before I know it, a great amount of time has passed, and my browser is loaded with more tabs than I can manage. The time spent is always worth it, though, because I learn so much and walk away with so many new ideas!

Please share one fun or surprising fact about yourself:

I grew up in the town where “Charlotte’s Web” was based. It is a lovely town on the coast of Maine, and the Fair where much of the story took place was the highlight of every summer.