The Under 30: Katie Ohene

The Under 30 is a series that explores the lives of the young people around us. Learn more about why we’re doing it here.

Katie Nicole Gyekyewa Ohene // 27 // Portland, OR // Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology (PsyD Program)

When Katie was an undergraduate at Drexel, she was the homecoming queen. It’s easy to see why. With her infectious personality, ability to talk and relate to just about anyone, and bright smile that rivaled the lights of her home of Las Vegas, it was a perfect fit. She was proud to represent Drexel, and Drexel was proud to have her.

Later, before she decided to embark on a journey that would land her in the Pacific Northwest, I had the opportunity to work with Katie as a recruitment counselor for the University where we both studied. It was the first full-time, post-graduation job either of us had, and we had a tight-knit team we were proud to be on.

Again, Katie’s personality shone through her work. We often had to speak to large rooms of people visiting the University, and while it’s difficult to manage 200 prospective students and parents, all in varying levels of panic and ready to pepper you with fervent questioning, she did it with charm and ease. When visiting high schools, answering phone calls, or even working to design some of the communication we’d be sending out to the masses, she was a natural. Empathetic, intelligent, and well-spoken, she could have continued down that path and become a leader in the field.

Still, Katie’s ambitions led her down a different path. With an undergraduate education in Psychology, she held a desire to complete a Doctorate in the field. After a lengthy application process, she was admitted to Pacific University and traveled across the country in pursuit of her goal. While she hopes to return to Higher Education one day, she hopes to do so as an established psychologist.

On anyone’s path there are going to be a number of stops, starts, moments when you recalibrate, and steps in the middle. Through all of it, though, using your abilities the best you can to position yourself for the next step is key. It took some time for Katie to get where she is, and where she is now is not where she’s going, but she’s a hard worker and she’s determined to make it happen.

Oh, and this is her Facebook cover photo. So, you know, that’s pretty great too.


Straight From the Source

What’s your Favorite Hobby?

Hmmm…I think I would have to say watching cooking documentaries on Netflix and then trying to recreate the meals. I also like going to Zumba and eating pizza. Mostly the pizza…

What’re you most proud of?

I am most proud of becoming a Board of Trustees Member (Student Trustee) at Pacific University. It’ my biggest accomplishment, and I am proud to serve on the board while representing graduate students!

Where do you hang out?

Northwest PDX, but typically in the pearl district. My favorite brewery to hang at is 10 Barrel. Of course, this only happens when I have time. Most days you can catch me on the couch with my favorite glass of wine.

What would your ideal job/career be?

My ideal job would be two things. 1) Director of a Health and Counseling Center at a college/university 2) Dean of Students at a college/university. Basically, college was the place I changed a lot and I learned so much from my experiences. I am forever thankful for the people who were there for me when things got rough, and continue to be sources of support. I want to do the same for other college students. It’s my way of thanking the system for shaping a lot of who I am today.

What’s the best advice you would give?

The best advice I would give is this: Failing is part of the process. Do not let failure define you, but allow it to help you become a stronger person.

What do you wish you did more of?

Sigh…I wish I went on more hikes! Living in the PNW there is so much hiking to do, but I rarely find the time to do this with being a full-time student, doing clinical work, completing a dissertation, and working! Hopefully I will find the time to do more of this soon.

Why didn’t you make Forbes 30 Under 30?

I am not sure why…I AM AWESOME and I SLAY (DUH)! Just kidding; it’s not my time yet. I still have time to learn and grow so that I can impact the people around me while doing what I love. Also I am a psych person, I feel like Forbes if not ready for me yet.

You can keep up with Katie here.