Katie Hempshall – Human Kinetics Europe

What do you love about working at Human Kinetics?

I work in sales and marketing in the European office of Human Kinetics, a US publisher of all things sport and physical activity. I’ve had a brilliant 18 months so far, and has been my first time working in publishing too so it has been great to get stuck into a new industry and learn the ropes. 

Personally I have found it fascinating to learn so much in the arena of physical activity when getting to know new titles, and be able to work with health and fitness books that will help change people’s lives for the better. Now more than ever during the pandemic, I think the importance of our health and fitness has shot to the forefront of people’s minds, and I’m proud to be working with a brand that is playing a vital role in the industry. 

What is your favourite book? Why?

This is a difficult one – there are so many to choose from.  I tend to opt for non-fiction books or those based on true stories, although some of my favourite books have actually been fiction –  those which have been impossible to put down, made me laugh, made me cry, or have left me thinking about them days, months or years later. 

For that reason I’d say Kite Runner and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine are two of my favourites, alongside Harry Potter of course. Each of these books have shown me something completely outside of what I experience in my day to day – Kite Runner made me cry, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine made me laugh, and Harry Potter did both!

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently back with a non-fiction book – Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly. I first heard of Brene during a TED talk she did on vulnerability and shame (she is a researcher of the two), topics you don’t often hear much about, so I’d been keen to hear more from her since then. The book explores vulnerability and how whilst we all tend to hate being vulnerable, actually embracing vulnerability can be a really rewarding experience. It is definitely one of those books that makes you stop and think.  

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was little, I always fancied being an archaeologist – I think my idea of the job was romanticised by the thought of discovering ancient treasure in exotic locations, so it sounded like a rather cool job as a 7 year old! So with my archeologic dream in mind, when on holiday at the beach rather than making sand castles I’d often be found digging for hidden treasure. However after ‘discovering’ numerous pebbles, and about 10 Coca-Cola cans later, I realised that that archaeology wasn’t for me after all. 

What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?

A dog! I would love a dog in the house, although the early morning walks in the rain have been a deterrent so far. I think I’ll stick to borrowing my friends’ and family’s dogs for now. 

Ambition or talent: which matters more?

I’d definitely say ambition matters more. If you have the ambition and drive I believe you can generally become good at something, but if you have the talent to do something but no drive to do it then it’s unlikely that you’ll apply yourself fully. That said, my ambition to be able to sing (despite the daily practice on my morning commute) is yet to pay off. 

Katie Hempshall is Senior Sales and Marketing Executive at Human Kinetics Europe, part of the Mare Nostrum Group.