Get to Know the People Science Team: Katie Turnbull
Title: Manager, People Science Analytics
Residence: Clayton, North Carolina
Hometown: Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania
Growing up, Katie Turnbull loved the classic American novel Cheaper By the Dozen.
The semi-autobiographical tale by siblings Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey tells of growing up with parents who had 12 children. The mom and dad were efficiency experts who used their family as a living laboratory.
Katie was so entranced with the fun—and funny—portraits of time management, productivity, and human ingenuity that she chose systems science and mathematics for her college major. Today she puts that degree to work, helping clients understand what makes people successful while also helping Glint colleagues amplify the impact of their work.
Over the course of her career, she has also learned a thing or two about navigating change, having experienced three acquisitions and a merger in the space of six years. “I worked for four different companies but only two managers one year,” she recalls. “My tax preparer loved all my paperwork.”
Learn more about Katie’s work and life:
What’s your motivation for doing what you do?
I love that Glint’s mission is to help people be happier and more successful at work. My passion for efficiency and my work in automation and scale allow me to bring that mission to more organizations.
Any career goals you’re working toward?
I recently became a people manager, and my focus is to become more effective in that role. Luckily, I work for a company that has a few resources on that topic …
What has been a big learning moment in your career?
I once had a really awful boss, the kind where everyone lives in fear of being fired. When she was out of the office, it felt like a vacation for everyone. Later on, I was in a new job with a new boss, and I missed a quality-assurance issue for a large client. That mistake meant hundreds of reports needed to be rerun on a seemingly impossible timeline.
Fortunately, the entire office pitched in, working late to get the reports delivered. When the dust settled, the team talked about improving the process to ensure we wouldn’t miss a similar issue in the future. That kind of improvement and learning depends on transparency and trusting your team. That never would have happened at the past job with the awful boss.
What’s your top tip?
You never know when a small interaction with someone is going to change everything, either for you or for them. A lot of the success I’ve had is from the ripple effects of seemingly minor things. It’s important to remember your interactions (inside or outside the office) can have that effect for someone else.
What was your first job?
McDonald’s. There were very few places in town that hired kids under age 18, which meant even a fast-food business had really low turnover. That location actually won a national drive-through contest my senior year.
How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?
It used to be one, but I’ve been up to two since about March this year.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I have two young daughters, so they take up most of my time outside of work. I’m active in the Clayton Mid-Day Rotary Club and currently serve as secretary. Rotary sponsored me as an exchange student to Zaragoza, Spain, when I was in high school, and it’s been great to join as an adult as a way to give back to the community.
Actually, the day before I hopped on a plane for my onboarding with Glint, I spent 14 hours on my feet volunteering at our annual fundraiser. We put on a free music festival for the community and make our money selling beer. That’s not what you pictured when I said “Rotary,” is it?