Katherine St Lawrence
Global marketing strategy & ops, Bumble
I’m half Australian and half English and have a pretty serious appetite for travel beyond those two places. I’m a problem solver at heart, both personally and professionally, and I love a spreadsheet!
What’s probably driven me the most in my career is wanting to make work easier for people and to create an environment where creative people can do their best work and remove operational friction.
What’s the best thing about working/your current role at Bumble?
I think it’s really important for me to work for a mission oriented company where there’s a goal to leave the world in a better place than we found it. I definitely found that at both Airbnb and Bumble.
In your opinion, what is the biggest marketing industry challenge for brands?
Current times aside, I think finding a balance between short term growth and brand authenticity in terms of standing for something and having your values shine through, is key for modern brands.
When working with marketing partners, what do you look for?
Coming from the operations side, I leave the marketing team to assess the creative and technical capabilities. What I’m really looking for are indicators of how the relationship is going to go. I think you need to have some meaning to build a really good relationship so that there’s grace on both sides and when needed they will go the extra mile. There’s very few cases where I want a real client service provider relationship. Like there’s a reason that we’re looking in outside of the company for this expertise.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Trust your instinct and trust the energy of a team that you’re essentially going to work with, even when you’re junior think about interviewing the employer as well and getting a sense of if it’s a good fit at the right place.
What inspires you?
I think it’s people, people’s empathy and generosity; it’s what keeps me on track and reminds me to get out of my head and stop just thinking about my needs.
Some values that you live by
I think for sure honesty, transparency and openness. Integrity and kindness are part of that as well. And sometimes that’s being really clear with people, whilst other times that’s giving people the benefit of the doubt. It goes hand in hand with ownership, owning the decisions that you’ve made and not being afraid of admitting you’ve made a mistake.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
It’s a long life. Even if what you’re doing two years after uni is not what you imagined for yourself it’s important to remember there’s a lot of time to do great things. Those early experiences provide a great learning environment for future opportunities.
If you weren’t working in marketing, what would you be doing?
I think I could have been a lawyer. I love working with lawyers, enjoy assessing risk and the completeness of drafting a contract is very satisfying!
What’s your favourite:
Brand? Starbucks, I love the aesthetic and they have a really strong sense of how they show up in the world.
Podcast? work Life by Adam Grant, The Illusionist
Food? -Pan Asian especially Pad Thai