Tell us a little bit about yourself, how’d you end up in the wild world of advertising and marketing?
Advertising was actually never on my radar. As a biracial woman with parents who didn’t go to college, I didn’t see a lot of role models in marketing/advertising who had similar backgrounds. Actually, as I was growing up I didn’t really see a lot of people who looked like me in ads — period!
I have always been interested in what motivates people, why humans behave the way they do, and how to influence or change behavior, so I went to school for psychology. Little did I know at the time that the foundation I had in psychology would prove to be a huge benefit in my future roles in this industry.
I had some fantastic mentors as I started out my career at Target HQ, and after a few years, I found myself moving to Chicago to jump into the advertising world head first. Now that I’m back home in Minnesota, I’m excited to be fully immersed in this community.
What do you love most about this industry?
This is the perfect industry for seekers! We get to be lifelong learners, always ahead of trends and technology, while constantly flexing our strategic thinking capabilities.
How do you maintain passion and enthusiasm for the work you do throughout the different phases of your life?
Because of the ever-changing nature of this industry, my answer to this question would be different throughout the different phases of my life. But...maybe that very thing is why I feel passionate and motivated! Each client and category I’ve worked on and each company I’ve worked for has brought new energy and excitement. Once I feel like I’ve just begun to master something, everything changes — and that’s exciting (even when it’s a little scary at times).
What about the MPLS MadWomen mission resonates with you?
What I love most about this organization is that it doesn’t just provide inspirational, networking events for women in our community. While those are so important in helping us build bridges, make connections, and giving us the extra fuel we need to continue to grow in our careers, MPLS MadWomen moves beyond the “feel good” and doesn’t shy away from tough topics or conversations. I also think the organization’s commitment to racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion in our industry is so important.
What is one thing you would change about the current state of our industry? And how do you think your work with MPLS MadWomen can help create this change?
I think we can all agree that there are quite a few things that should change in this industry, and in our country, particularly as it relates to gender and racial equality. My particular passion is pushing for both representation and inclusion. It is not enough to just hire women, non-binary folks, or people of color; we need companies and leaders who truly value their unique perspectives and experiences, and who are committed to ensuring these people are supported in their professional growth.
I am personally committed to ensuring our programming is inclusive — and useful! We hope to not only spark more awareness and conversation about these issues, but we also strive to empower this community with real-life takeaways and by helping to build support networks.
What is one thing you think women in the industry can do to support each other on a daily basis?
Celebrate wins and remember that we can do more and make bigger changes by working together.
If you could give your recent college-grad self just one piece of advice what would it be?
Go after what you want, not just what you think you’re supposed to do. Going outside the status quo is daunting, but that’s often where you find the most growth!
If you had to choose any career path besides your current one, what would you want to be when you grow up?
I was a class away from a Dutch minor...combine that with my psych and bio degrees, and I truly thought I’d be a marine mammal behaviorist...in the Netherlands. What can I say? I really like to be specific!