Senior Office Administrator, Baltimore MD
When Dorret Oosterhoff moved to the United States 18 years ago, she spoke Dutch and German – and basic English. Dorret grew up in a small town in The Netherlands and was the first girl in her family to go to university, where she earned a master’s degree in business communication.
Transplanted in Baltimore for her husband’s job, Dorret spent the first year improving her English by reading the Baltimore Sun cover to cover with a dictionary at her side. She also learned to understand English better by watching “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” one of the few positive daytime talk shows she could find on TV at the time.
In an effort to integrate into her new hometown she also did a lot of volunteer work during her first seven years, being unable to take on a paid position due to visa restrictions. This gave her experience in website development, organizing groups of people to complete projects, and communicating through a variety of channels. These are skills that continue to benefit her today, says Dorret, who joined KAI in 2007 and is the firm-wide coordinator of its Administrative Team.
“The thing that struck me with Kittelson then and still does today is that during the interview everyone was so open and honest, and that was a really good fit for me,” she says, noting KAI staff mentored her as she learned the ropes.
Today, Dorret oversees the Baltimore, Reston, Washington DC, and Boston office’s operations, works on improving firm-wide administrative processes, and is the go-to person for an array of requests.
“I love the variety and that I can help people every day,” she says. “I also feel that I’m extremely respected at Kittelson. I’m part of a wonderful administrative team and I have a lot of support, so I feel like I’m part of the big picture but I also get to do a lot of the day-to-day stuff.”
When she’s not working, Dorret enjoys photography and features her work at on flickr.