In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, this is one of a series of profiles highlighting just a few of the impressive accomplishments alumnae of Grady College are making in their respective industries. For other profiles, please visit any of those listed below:
Becca Hannan (ABJ ’11) is a senior manager on the Integrated Marketing Communications Team for the smartwater brand for The Coca-Cola Company. Hannan started her career at Leo Burnett in account management where she was responsible for leading advertising efforts for clients such as Phillip Morris, Nestle Purina and The Art Institute of Chicago. Hannan was a team lead of the Van Gogh project launched in 2016 in support of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Van Gogh exhibition. The idea was recognized globally and took home 14 Cannes Lions Awards at Cannes in June 2016. She was also instrumental in helping her team take home a Grand Prix in Creative Effectiveness for this same work.
Grady College: How has your Grady education helped you in your career?
Becca Hannan: The campaigns course was instrumental in understanding how to think and work like an advertising executive. I found this final course and the access it gave us to folks in the professional industry invaluable. The extra programs in Grady (Advertising Club) gave access to networking opportunities which helped me land my first gig at Leo Burnett Chicago.
GC: What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned as a female leader?
BH: Pay it forward. I’ve had the pleasure of working with and for many amazing female leaders that still serve as my mentors today. They’ve taught me the power of paying this guidance forward and giving credit where credit is due.
GC: Have there been any challenges to being a female leader in your field? How do you overcome those challenges?
BH: I have found it challenging at times to have my opinion valued and heard by male creative leads. I overcome these challenges by going above and beyond my roles and responsibilities to prove that I’m an asset to the team.
GC: Do you have any advice for Grady students who aspire to be in a leadership position?
BH: Don’t let your ego get in the way. No one ever gets to the top on their own. So, look around you and identify who can serve as a great partner and mentor. Having people on your side as well as those that have been in your shoes to collaborate with will help you get to where you want to be from a leadership perspective.
GC: Are there any other comments you care to share about Grady College or women in leadership?
BH: Build your network. I landed all my jobs through networking – join clubs in the industry, attend speaker series, reach out to alumni, talk with your peers about what they are doing etc. the more people you can meet and the more opportunities you can expose yourself to will ultimately open more doors.