Today, I get to feature a fellow 49er.
Anna Pappas and I both attended UNC Charlotte. Only one of us got to work with Spongebob Squarepants. (Hint: It’s not me. I’d have bragged about it until the starfish came home.) Anna has become a bit of a renaissance woman.
Anna is a consumer packaged good specialist, a global marketer, a foodie connoisseur and a travel and lifestyle enthusiast. Everywhere she’s been, she’s been the kind of innovator and team player we all want on our side.
Please give Anna a warm CD welcome. She’s the latest incredible woman to be featured in my #GirlsRock series. It focuses on women who do cool things. There are so many of you, and I appreciate you all hugely.
CD: When you were little, what did you think you’d grow up to be?
Anna: I definitely have had great mentors in my career. My mentor Katina has been super influential in my career, and she has had a long working career at Nickelodeon. She’s taught me patience, persistence, and courage. She has been my calm throughout my two years in NYC. The working field here is competitive, harsh at times, but very rewarding too. She’s told me to go after what I am passionate about, and she was a huge support system in my decision to leave Nick as she knew I came to a crossroads.
My other colleague who was the VP in our group (my manager’s boss), Ken played an instrumental role in my growth. Even though our time together was brief, he had so much patience and belief in my talents. He spent hours with me explaining his career in consumer packaged goods, and he did his best to lead me in that direction. However, I was on crossroads, and no matter what he said at that moment, I wasn’t fully committed to continuing in my current role.
I probably won’t ever find someone like Ken again in my career, but no matter what, he taught me how important it is to have people believe in you not only as a professional but as a person. He spent endless moments guiding and directing me, and it means more than he probably had ever seen from me. I plan to continue keeping in touch with him, and I left on really good terms.
CD: What are you most looking forward to now, professionally?
Anna: My next venture in the professional arena would be to contribute and grow even more. More than ever before really. I am ready for challenges, obstacles and a new place to explore! Also, gaining more knowledge as I work my way up.
CD: Anna, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give girls as they consider what they’ll do when they grow up?
Anna: Thanks for letting me do so! I’d say to girls as they are figuring it out… Never give up on what you want to do. Imagine being what you want to be, and believe in it. One day it will happen. Have faith in yourself and trust yourself. We know what is best for ourselves, and we should never allow someone to tell us otherwise. 🙂