Lauren Carr graduated in the winter of 2019 with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). As a student, she was a part of a small powerlifting club that would train together a few times a week. Outside of academics, she spent time downtown at the Flint Farmers’ Market and restaurants with peers from class. In September, she will be celebrating her first year at VMLY&R, a marketing and communications company, located in Tennessee. Prior to that, she was employed at Organizing Core where she assisted with the Presidential election campaign in 2020. As our featured alumni of the month, Lauren gives advice on working in the marketing or advertising industry, long-term career goals, and her favorite memories about UM-Flint!
Q: Degree(s) and graduation year:
A: BBA, 2019
Q: Why did you choose to attend UM-Flint for your degree?
A: I chose to attend UM-Flint because of the flexibility it offered me to complete my schooling in a way that worked for me. The Mott to UM-Flint program relieved my family of so much of the financial burden the college can cause and it offered me the flexibility to work while I attended school.
Q: Share your best college memory
A: My best college memory is getting to be in the heart of Downtown Flint for my classes. There was nothing better than finishing up a night class in the winter, and meeting your classmates at Churchill’s for warm chili. Or wrapping up a class mid-day and walking over to the Farmers Market! The city has so much to offer. You can’t find a campus quite like UM-Flint.
Q: Who influenced you most during your time at UM-Flint and why?
A: The students influenced me the most during my time at UM-Flint! The experience at UM-Flint, in my opinion, is so different than what you’d find at your typical university. During my time at the school of business, I was constantly running into other students who had interesting internships and career opportunities. I think that there is more of an expectation to juggle schoolwork with a career while still finding time to complete volunteer work. The university is great about providing opportunities and guidance to students who want to build their resumes while still in school.
Q: Where are you currently working and your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization? What is your job like day to day?
A: Less than six months after graduation, covid hit our community and stunted the start of many of my classmate’s careers. Remote work was something that had not yet been introduced to many companies. I ended up finding an organization called Organizing Core that prepared college students and recent graduates to work on political campaigns in a virtual space.
While working in the field on the Presidential campaign was exciting, I found myself feeling cooped up in my hometown. At the beginning of 2021, I took the plunge and moved to Memphis, Tennessee where I accepted a position as a Connections Manager with VMLY&R- a marketing and communications company. I will celebrate my first year on September 1!
VMLY&R specializes in advertising, digital and social media, sales promotion, direct marketing and brand identity consulting so what I do on a day-to-day basis is always changing. While I typically manage a recruitment platform for our client, I also have the opportunity to help with various event activations.
Q: What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
A: If I were to give a piece of advice to someone interested in working in marketing or advertising, I would say to get in wherever you can and try everything! If you can intern at a local nonprofit and run their social media for a summer- do it. If you can reach out to a local small business and ask to manage their email campaigns for them- do it. Every bit of experience is going to make you more well-rounded and more marketable.
Q: What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?
A: My proudest accomplishment was made during my time working on the Presidential election in 2020. One of my volunteers has a daughter who runs an art studio for adults with disabilities. The studio is called Sage Studio and it’s out of Austin, Texas. One of the artists, Rick, absolutely loved the candidate I was working for. He would make art about him and donate a portion of his profits to this candidate’s campaign regularly. I was eventually able to get ahold of the candidate and they asked to meet with the artist. During their meeting, the candidate praised Rick’s art and asked if he could buy his designs to sell in his store. Being able to watch the excitement on Rick’s face while he spoke to his hero was something that I don’t think will ever be beaten in my mind. My biggest accomplishment was being able to be a small piece of this magical moment.
Q: What is a long-term career or professional goal you have for yourself?
A: Ultimately, my biggest goal is to start my own nonprofit for adults with disabilities. I am so inspired by the work done at Sage Studio in Austin, Texas and I would love to be able to build something even half as incredible as that organization.
Q: What is something people may not know about you?
A: Something that people may not know about me is that I love baking! I bake every single week for my friends and family. Cakes, cupcakes, breads, candies- you name it!