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MadWomen of the Month / Anna Little

First, Anna, tell us a little about you. How’d you get to where you are today? We’d love to hear your story.

My introduction to the advertising world actually began in Milwaukee. After growing up in Duluth, I wanted to leave Minnesota and “get away” for college. It turns out “getting away” meant leaving Minnesota and moving to Wisconsin. I ended up 400 miles down the road at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. I spent my first two years of college there and got very involved with United Adworkers, Milwaukee’s professional advertising club. Adworkers gave me the opportunity to see the back end of the advertising industry that you don’t necessarily experience in school – networking, creative people coming together, and genuinely great work.
As much as I loved the Milwaukee advertising industry, Minneapolis, in all its wintery, Minnesota glory, kept popping up in my mind. My mentors in Milwaukee were incredibly supportive when I opened up to them about my fascination with the Twin Cities advertising scene and a few months later I was starting my junior year at the University of Minnesota. In the year that I have lived here, I’ve tried my best to take advantage of all the awesome things the industry has to offer. I got involved with Ad 2 as soon as I could, became a member of the University of Minnesota Advertising Club, and talked to as many people as I could get ahold of. Fast forward a year and I am wrapping up the perfect summer as an account management intern at Carmichael Lynch.

What is it exactly about the world of advertising that truly excites you and ignites your passion?

The combination of strategy and creativity within advertising fascinates me. Through this precise combination, advertisements are able to tell stories and expose people to ideas that they wouldn’t necessarily entertain otherwise. I love working in an industry that revolves around connecting with every type of person is in ways that best resonate with them.

What efforts did you take to secure your internship at Carmichael Lynch?

I made sure to get involved in the Minneapolis advertising industry as soon as possible. I joined Ad 2, attended a variety of local events, and asked as many questions as I possibly could. I knew Carmichael Lynch was an agency that deeply valued their employees both inside and outside of the office, so I wanted to be able to show them that my passion for advertising wasn’t confined to the degree I was working towards.

What are the top three things you learned from your internship?

1. Creativity and strategy exist in a variety of different forms.
2. Things are not always going to go as planned, but it’s how you react and re-strategize that will ultimately determine the outcome.
3. When a company acknowledges that its employees are so much more than just who they are from 9 – 5 Monday through Friday, the culture is stronger, the people are happier, and the work is better.

If you could give advice to students looking to find their dream internship, what would you tell them?

Don’t let the big names and the prestigious awards scare you. At the end of the day, the people on the other side of the interview table are just like you, so treat them like it. They were you once; they want to see you succeed.

Tell us about a mentor of yours and how they helped you along the way.

My freshmen year I was paired with Laura Gainor through the United Adworkers mentorship program. The mentorship program was very customizable at the time and we were told to utilize it in whatever way worked best for us. Over the last four years she has helped me more than I ever could’ve imagined. She reviewed my resume more times than I can count, offered me an internship when she took over as Executive Director of Adworkers, and even coached me through my transition to Minneapolis. Since moving back to Minnesota she has always been only a text away and willing to answer any question I could possibly throw at her. I am incredibly fortunate to have been paired with her in 2013.

What is the most memorable experience you’ve had as an intern this summer?

One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had as an intern at Carmichael Lynch this summer was attending the quarterly all agency meeting. The meeting was conducted in such an authentic and transparent manner that was completely reflective of Carmichael’s culture. It proved that the reason Carmichael Lynch is such a great place to work is because rather than culture and protocol coming from the top down, it is being created from the inside out. It was a great reminder of how fortunate I am to be working here.

What’s your definition of what it takes to make a MPLS MadWoman?

To me, the definition of MPLS MadWoman is any woman who is voicing her opinion, continuously striving to improve, both professionally and personally, and always willing to work her hardest while having a little fun along the way.

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MadWoman of the month is a monthly series of interviews highlighting an amazing woman each month in our community, voted for by the community, and published on the Egotist. We’re thrilled to shine a light on inspirational women. Nominate the next MadWoman of the Month on twitter.

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