Organizational Change Leadership alumna credits education for new high-level position

Kat Damiano

While change can be scary for some people, Kat Damiano embraces it – and makes a living helping others do the same.

As a business change manager with SoCalGas in Los Angeles, California, Damiano works as an internal consultant on the SCG enterprise change management team. She currently oversees a five-year, 300-plus stakeholder initiative to design and construct a state-of-the-art gas control facility – a project that brings multiple teams under one roof. This initiative includes creating a new work culture and organizational structure, in addition to new job roles for an array of emerging technology. Despite having previously worked in senior management roles, which had large components of change management, this is her first change-specific role, and Damiano feels certain she would not have been successful attaining it without her education. 

“I sometimes scratch my head and wonder how I landed here so quickly after graduating,” said Damiano. “But I realize it’s a combination of my 15-plus years of experience combined with a solid education specializing in change management.”

Wishing to sharpen both her change and project management skills, Damiano acted on this ambition in 2018 by enrolling in the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Master’s in Organizational Change Leadership program. She quickly found the online format ideal for her, as the program's flexible nature allowed her to manage her time between working, raising her daughter and her studies. All of her hard work eventually paid off, as Damiano graduated in spring 2020 and soon after landed her current job.

“I highly recommend the UW-Platteville program,” said Damiano. “This degree helped me secure my new job role and seriously stepped up my earnings and job satisfaction. The time flew by while I was studying, with interesting content and some fun instructors. Investing in myself by taking this program was one of the best decisions I’ve made.”

Damiano continues to invest in herself even after graduation. Upon accepting her new job at SoCalGas, she completed her Prosci Certification – a program specializing in change management – as part of her required training. The company also encourages additional training, and as a result, Damiano is now looking into Six Sigma and Agile certification, all to better ensure the success of the many teams she manages now and in the future.

“Organizational Change Management is increasingly considered essential for ensuring business success, and particularly with the people side of change,” said Damiano. “It saves the organization time and money in the long run and ensures you keep your talent engaged and satisfied.”

Keeping her own teams engaged and satisfied is undoubtedly no easy task, but just as Damiano helps individuals acclimate to new and changing environments, the enjoyment she receives from her work is one that will, perhaps, never change.