Katherine Power (chief executive of Clique Media Group,) in “The Corner Office”

Adam Bryant conducts interviews of senior-level executives that appear in his “Corner Office” column each week in the SundayBusiness section of The New York Times. Here are a few insights provided during an interview of Katherine Power, chief executive of Clique Media Group, a media and marketing agency,. To read the complete interview, check out other articles, and obtain subscription information, please click here.

Photo credit: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

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What were your early years like?

I’m originally from Orange County, Calif. My parents were in the horse business, and we had racehorses growing up. But I was much more of a city kid, and not that much into horses. From a young age, I was a very serious dancer, doing ballet and jazz and everything else.

I was much more of my grandmother’s child. She grew up in Los Angeles, her parents were in the film industry and she ran a retail store. When I was young, I would stay with her and work at her store. I loved the cash register, dressing the mannequins, and I remember learning how to sell when I was about 9. I would act nonchalant and just express my opinion, and people believed me. I was very entrepreneurial from a young age.

I also didn’t have a traditional education. Because of dance, I was doing independent study by eighth grade. And I initially thought I wanted to be a film producer. So my plan was to go to Santa Monica College and then transfer to U.S.C. for film school.

I had started an internship the summer before at Touchstone Pictures. But on the first day at S.M.C., I showed up early to find parking. I drove around and around and around and couldn’t find a spot. And so I decided, this is not for me.

I called Touchstone and said, “I’m available Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, if you’ll have me.” I worked for this producer every single day for free, and soon after she hired me as her assistant. I have just been working ever since.

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Adam Bryant, deputy national editor of The New York Times, oversees coverage of education issues, military affairs, law, and works with reporters in many of the Times’ domestic bureaus. He also conducts interviews with CEOs and other leaders for Corner Office, a weekly feature in the SundayBusiness section and on nytimes.com that he started in March 2009. In his book, The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed, (Times Books), he analyzes the broader lessons that emerge from his interviews of hundreds of business leaders. To read an excerpt, please click here. To contact him, please click here.

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