Tell us a little bit about yourself, how’d you end up in the wild world of advertising and marketing?
I majored in strategic communications in college and went to ad school after graduation. I always knew I wanted to get into advertising. It was the combination of business and creativity that drew me in from the beginning. Once I got in, I fell in love with the ever-changing environment. There is a new challenging adventure every day.
What do you love most about this industry?
I love the intense feeling of family that comes about in agency life. You work so hard and so closely with your colleagues, and the bond that forms is incredible. Being on the road and working long hours creates a unique vortex where friendships are formed and tested. Those relationships create a sense of community that pushes us all to be better as a team than we could be as individuals. A shared goal of great work brings us together and drives us forward.
How do you maintain passion and enthusiasm for the work you do throughout the different phases of your life?
As a producer just starting out, I hustled as hard as I could on my projects. Staying late and traveling for weeks, if needed. It brought me joy to work hard and kick ass. As I’ve grown older and my life has been filled with non-work joys (my husband and son), I’ve tried to be more focused and intentional with my work/hustle. Still working hard and kicking ass, but finding ways to be more in-the-moment. When I’m working on a big project, I’m dedicated to it. When I’m in between projects, I try to maximize my personal life and spend time with my family. It’s not always that cut and dry, but knowing when to lean in and lean out has helped me stay passionate and energized. Burn-out is real, and you have to find ways to stay fresh.
What about the MPLS MadWomen mission resonates with you?
From the very beginning, MPLS MadWomen’s mission has been to inspire women to pursue their ambitions by sparking conversations about gender equality. It is so important that women (and non-binary folks) feel supported in their professional efforts. Seeing people who look like you in leadership and a community that encourages you to carve their own path for professional growth are key to that pursuit. I’m extremely proud of the work that MPLS MadWomen has done to foster those conversations and community.
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?
Simply put, I’d like to see more women, LGTBQ and people of color in leadership in our industry. The only way to achieve that is to create an industry where these individuals can thrive, where we are viewed as equals—not a quota or novelty. There is a certain level of discomfort our industry has with equality and inclusion conversations. Many agencies are paralyzed by the fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, so much so that they do nothing. MPLS MadWomen has created a format for an open dialogue for these issues. While conversations within our community are focused on supporting individuals in their pursuit of their professional goals, agencies should play a more active role in what is happening at an industry level. That participation will create the systemic change we desperately need.
What is one thing you think women in the industry can do to support each other on a daily basis?
Be everyday allies. Stand up for each other. Listen to each other. Look out for one another. Amplify each other. In meetings, at events, shooting the shit at the coffee maker, everywhere.
If you could give your recent college-grad self just one piece of advice what would it be?
Stay hungry. Never be bored. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Lift each other up. Fight for a place at the table, and be generous when you are there. Listen! Work hard! Have fun! Take feedback to heart. It’s ok to make a mistake once, but never make the same mistake twice.
If you had to choose any career path besides your current one, what would you want to be when you grow up?
When I was a kid I wanted to be a stand-up comedian. I suppose I’m not very far off. The biggest difference is getting to boss people around in between making them laugh.