AAF Alumni Spotlight – Stephanie Lee

By Jane Lee

With a degree in communications, University of Illinois' alumna Stephanie Lee was an AAF member and a cheerleader. Currently, she is a project manager at Havas Worldwide Chicago.

Originally from Rolling Meadows, upon graduating she advanced into Chicago pursuing her future in the ad industry. After searching for a long awaited job, she now lives in the heart of Chicago's Gold Coast working for Havas.

Lee says that her daily work is never the same, which is what she adores about the industry, yet there are factors that are inevitable like internal meetings, status calls with clients or hours of emailing and the use of Excel.

"My team and I have gotten into a seamless groove, making it easy and enjoyable to work so closely with one another everyday," she said. "We start the morning out at the “wall” where we huddle with our coffees & breakfast to discuss upcoming deliverables and any key updates for the week."

Stephanie shares that she wouldn't be where she is today without persistence. Though she was disappointed when she didn't get an internship with Havas in 2013, she continued to pursue to network and make herself stand out.

"I educated myself on the ins and outs of the industry, and most importantly I made the most out of an amazing opportunity and proved why and how I would not be an expendable employee," she said.

Now with her current position at Havas, she said being a part of their family has truly made her feel fortunate and appreciative.

Understanding that applying for jobs within the industry may be tough, she advises that if you want something bad enough, you must fight off negativity and avoid excuses as to why your goals aren't being achieved.

"Stay hungry and persistent because when you finally get that dream job or break into that industry, there are no words to capture how accomplished you will feel," she said.

Because of her positive attitude and motivational drive, she describes her work at Havas as innovative, progressive and inviting. She calls her fellow employees some of her closest friends and the work place "my home away from home."