Jennifer Katz

Brand Culture, NBCUniversal
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What do you do for work? Give us a few reasons why you love it.
I head up the Brand Culture team for the Syfy & USA Networks at NBCUniversal. This is a relatively new role for me and what I love about it is that I’m being challenged to make a change not only in an environment that I’m fully vested in, but for people I truly care about.
 
Your current company aside, name three other companies that you admire and explain why.
Live In The Grey – Every company that cares about their employees should be taking a page out of Live In The Grey’s handbook. Or, they should simply hire them. Live in the Grey is 100% committed to making people feel comfortable about taking risks, finding their passions, acting on those passions and more importantly, recognizing that we no longer live in a world where life and work are black and white…and that’s ok. Because once you know how to live in the grey, you can be fully focused and invested in doing what you love.

Beauty Counter – They are working to redefine the beauty landscape, safely. With the ban of 1,500+ products and chemicals that are considered to be questionable or harmful from their own products they are dedicated to helping create awareness one product at a time.

Warrior Poets – First, I love Morgan Spurlock. Second, I love that he started a company that is focused on creating awareness around social issues that not only impact us today but those that are not yet on our radars. And it’s not just about covering topics; he immerses himself, lives and breathes the issues or cultural obsessions all while teaching viewers something new.
 
Where do you expect to be in 5 years?
Is it fair to say I don’t know? I believe that being open-minded and nimble is what leads to new opportunities and experiences.
 
In your opinion, what is wrong with the corporate world and how would you fix it?
We’re wayyyy too connected. Gone are the days of leaving work and leaving work at work. It’s always with you, right in your pocket. And because the lines of personal and professional life are blurring more and more, people don’t have a reason (nor want) to unplug, unless it’s a “life altering” event or emergency. There’s a constant fear that if you’re not available someone is going to encroach on your job…or even take it. As a result, employees have made the boundaries between their work and home life virtually non-existent. And while I’m not naïve to think that this invasive work style will go away, I do think that it is up to the management team at companies to emphasize the importance of work/life balance. This is of course for companies that value employee loyalty, happiness and collective success. And if they don’t, go somewhere else!
 
Who are your role models or influences? Explain what makes them special.
Hands down my parents. They’re some of the hardest working people I know, even as they inch their way to retirement. They had and still have their priorities straight. They work hard in every aspect of their life, and I’m not just talking “work work”; to teach, guide and provide the resources needed to make my sister and I as well-rounded, educated, socially-aware, loving and successful as possible. I strive to be like them daily.
 
How do you measure success at work? In life?
I measure success in both life and work by how fulfilled I feel. I always ask myself, “Is this worth it? Am I getting out of it what I’m putting in?” While I know it’s not realistic to feel fulfilled in all aspects of my life at the same time, I do know that I need to feel it in at least one part at any given time. If not, I try to take a beat, reassess and focus on how to get that fulfillment-fix back.