Tell us a little bit about yourself, how’d you end up in the wild world of advertising and marketing?
I studied journalism at the University of Minnesota and actually left school planning to pursue public relations. As a recent grad without a gig, I went to every informational interview and internship info session possible. After (over a year) of career hunting, I got lucky and met a woman at an advertising agency info session who encouraged me to apply for a position in media. She thought my skill set would be a great fit. When I was later hired at the agency she worked for, she became my supervisor. She probably doesn’t realize how a little bit of mentorship at an info session influenced my career path in such a positive way!
What do you love most about this industry?
The creativity, drive and passion people in this industry have to do good work.
How do you maintain passion and enthusiasm for the work you do throughout the different phases of your life?
I tend to be an extrovert, and I know I get a lot of my energy from others. The things that keep me passionate usually involve collaboration. I love when I have the chance to get in a room with smart people to ideate together and generate actionable plans to accomplish our goals.
What about the MPLS MadWomen mission resonates with you?
Everything. I joined the board with a goal of continuing to help fight for gender equality in the workplace, and hopefully see change extend even beyond the workplace in our country.
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?
If I could only change one… I would work to make our MN ad community more diverse and reflective of the people we are trying to reach with our ads. When I started in this industry as a young, mixed-race, female from an urban background, I didn’t look around and see anyone who looked like me. I think it’s so important for young talent to have role models they can relate to because it’s the only way we will ultimately grow that talent into the diverse ad culture we need to see.
Through my work with MPLS MadWomen, I hope to be able to help develop a workshop curriculum that does everything from nurturing young, diverse talent to offering forums for people in our industry to discuss diversity and bias issues facing our community. Beyond discussing these issues, I hope we can create spaces where we can develop action plans and real-life takeaways to begin addressing these things in our own workplaces.
What is one thing you think women in the industry can do to support each other on a daily basis?
It’s ingrained in us to feel a constant competition with the women around us, especially in a competitive advertising agency landscape. I would challenge women in our industry to find ways to build each other up and have each other's backs.
If you could give your recent college-grad self just one piece of advice what would it be?
Find strong women you believe in and figure out what has made them successful. Pick their brains, take their advice, and stay passionate about what you want to accomplish.
If you had to choose any career path besides your current one, what would you want to be when you grow up?
My second major in college was theater, in addition to broadcast journalism. I had a focus on social justice theater, where we were trying to give voices to people and issues we felt were underrepresented. If I had chosen that different path, I might have ended up in LA as a “professional waitress” while trying to pursue an acting career. Or more likely, using those public speaking skills as a lobbyist in Washington, fighting for things I believe in.