By Roadtrip Nation

Kassie Davis



My road in life took a while to figure out.
When I was young, I knew I wanted to go to school and make a career for myself, but career paths for women felt very limited to fields such as teaching, nursing, and retail merchandising.
While working for the small business my dad owned during my high school summers, I became motivated to learn more about business.
In college, I merged my experience in business with my interest in fashion and majored in retail merchandising.
I earned my bachelor’s degree from Stephens College and started my career at a local department store—while working, I went to graduate school at night for my master’s degree.
After receiving my MBA in marketing, I worked at the Chicago Tribune as a retail marketing manager, then at Marshall Field’s as the vice president of marketing research and planning.
When Target bought Marshall Field’s, I took on the job as the director of public affairs and started the corporate philanthropy program—this is how I made the transition from retail to philanthropy.
During my career, I’ve been out of work and had to look for new jobs a few times, but I’ve loved working in the world of Chicago philanthropy because of how fulfilling it is.
I now work as the executive director for a private charitable foundation that’s focused on education for low-income students.
Keep following my journey


Executive Director

I am responsible for the overall operation of a charity foundation.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Helping People

Day to Day

Overseeing communications, strategy development, proposal review, grant evaluation, and investment management.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Building relationships and being willing to help others is very important for those times when you're looking for a job, making a career change, or pursuing a new interest. If you're willing to put in the effort to help others and cultivate those relationships, then you'll get that return from them in the future.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Get a summer job or after-school job in the field that you're interested in rather than the typical first jobs that don't relate to your interests. That way you can really explore the field first-hand and determine if that's still something you want to major in and do for a career.


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Women should be teachers or nurses."

Challenges I Overcame

Job Loss