From BCIT to the Big Apple: Alumna and marketing superstar Katie Klumper leads growth for some of the world’s biggest brands

New York is a city of possibilities, a place where dreams can come true for anyone who dares to keep up with the pulse of the electric metropolis. And it suits marketing executive Katie Klumper, a BCIT alumna, perfectly.

“I visited New York 15 years ago and as soon as I landed I knew I would move here one day,” she says.

Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Katie was determined to make her mark in the exciting, fast-paced advertising world in NYC. But she almost ended up in a career that was decidedly more behind the scenes.

A life-changing decision

“My dad told me computers would be the next big craze—and he was right,” Katie recalls. “He told me I need to go to BCIT and sign up for the Information Technology program.”

Just six months into her computer studies, Katie received a suggestion that drastically changed her career trajectory.

“One of the teachers at BCIT, Joe Freeburn (Marketing Management) said to me, ‘You may want to think of a different program.” He suggested she move to Marketing Management, promising to transfer her back to IT if it didn’t work out. But it did, and Katie has never looked back. She graduated from BCIT in 2004 with a Marketing Management – Communications diploma.

From BCIT to the Big Apple

Today, Katie lives and works in New York City and is principal of Deloitte Digital and HEAT (New York creative agency owned by Deloitte). At 36 years old, she has an impressive resumé—including leading heavy-hitting agencies, growing the brands of Fortune 500 clients, and winning numerous awards, all in the very epicentre of the advertising world.

How did she get her first break? As a student, she happened to be sitting next to the president of Grey Worldwide (the company that funded the BCIT award she’d just received) at a recognition lunch. By the time lunch was done, she had landed a new job at Grey, which would eventually take her to New York.

“I got a faster education than my friends who went to degree schools and walked out of BCIT with a job in hand,” she says, adding that BCIT helped her develop emotional intelligence, the ability to empathize: “A lot of the work at BCIT is around teamwork, collaboration, and care for one another. At BCIT, you win and lose as a team. That’s a transformative skill when you walk into the workforce.”

After Grey Worldwide, Katie has worked at MacLaren McCann, Cossette, and KBS (a 500+ person creative agency), working with clients including Starbucks, BMW, and Puma and quickly rising in the ranks from account manager to president.

“I love growing businesses, whether it’s my clients’ or my own, and I will do it over and over again,” she enthuses. “I love the hustle, being able to bring people’s dreams to life, bringing creativity to the world. There are so many things that have yet to be accomplished.”

Always growing

In just 18 months, Katie has already grown HEAT, an agency that she opened, from three to 50 staff and is excited to grow it even more.

“People are the best asset you can ask for,” she says. “I want to make sure I put people first and make sure they’re happy at home and at their jobs. I’m excited to let the next generation of talent take over and make it their own so I can focus on the next offering of service and areas we’ll help clients with.”

With her many achievements, what is she most proud of?

“Being able to manage my family and career,” Katie answers readily. “I will never pretend like I have it all, but I think all too often people feel they have to give up having a family, being a mom, and having a personal life to having a career. I love my kids and family, and to have the career and the success I’ve had along with my personal life—I’m more proud of this than any professional accomplishment.”

As a mother of two young children she’s raising with her husband, Katie is excited about helping women advance in her industry and into the C-suite, especially mothers.

BCIT is proud to recognize Katie with a 2019 BCIT Distinguished Alumni Award at the awards gala on October 22, 2019.

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