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Four Years, Six $5000 Winners

Meet Our Past Winners, See Where They Are Now

We’re now in year four of WONGDOODY’s Women in Advertising Scholarship, and we thought we’d check back in with our previous six winners.

Each of these women is unique in her accomplishments, but all are passionate, articulate, inspiring, and true leaders by example. My favorite part of this process since we started this scholarship is when we get to video chat with the finalists, because I get to go back to my workday with a fresh infusion of their enthusiasm.

These women are badasses. And we should all feel better that they are the ones shaping our industry’s future.

So, we thought we’d see what they’re up to, because there’s no better inspiration for future applicants than looking back at what other winners have accomplished, what drives them, and what advice they have for women just starting out.

I’m happy to introduce you to our previous winners.

Pam Fujimoto
Executive Creative Director
WONGDOODY

KENDRA LITTLE
After an internship in Paris, Kendra is back stateside finishing up her degree in Art Direction at Miami Ad School.

What inspires you?
“Music, museum visits, beautiful doors, and learning new languages. All of these different things hold amazing nuggets you just can’t find anywhere else! Not to mention, it gives my brain a rest from focusing on whatever project is at hand while simultaneously storing design and culture references I can use in my work in the future. Really a win-win!”

If you could ride off into the sunset on anything, what would it be?
“I would ride my Yamaha YZF-R6 motorcycle into the sunset. I just started learning to ride it, and if I’m riding it off into the sunset that means I’ve got it down pretty well, so I guess this could be considered goal setting?”

How would you encourage other women to go into a creative field?
“As women, not only do our voices matter, but they are essential. Our experiences are so diverse and powerful and it’s time for us to be proud of that and express it.”

BOLORA MUNKBOLD
Bolora recently graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May of 2018 having completed a degree in Advertising and the Texas Creative Portfolio Sequence. She is a part of the MAIP 2018 class and is currently an art direction intern at WONGDOODY in Los Angeles this summer.

What inspires you?
“The women in my life! I am lucky to be surrounded by a community of motivated, intelligent, and supportive lady friends. I learn more about the world and other perspectives because of the diverse group of engineers, businesswomen, creatives, and activists around me.”

How would you encourage other women to go into a creative field?
“I would tell other women to know their worth and value. I think a lot of women are taught growing up to be agreeable and to not be “too loud,” “too opinionated,” or “too strong.” I want to encourage them to be themselves and not a watered-down version of themselves. I think the more we create a space for women to feel comfortable enough to express themselves, the more confidence they will have to ask for promotions, to fight for their ideas, and to make changes in the industry.”

What’s your dream job?
“Right now? Junior art director. I’m pretty lucky to be pursuing a career I love. In the future? Creative director of an ethical fashion brand, a film director (or to work on any set with Wes Anderson), or owning my own hospitality group with the most aesthetically pleasing hotels and restaurants you’ve ever seen.”

JESSICA SUGERMAN
Jessica is an art director and aspiring to be a really, really great art director at barrettSF.

What inspires you?
“The smart and talented people I work with, and the feeling that if I try hard enough and hang around them long enough, I might get somewhere near their level.”

How would you encourage other women to go into a creative field?
“You have something to say. I haven’t been at this very long, but it seems like that’s the heart of it, whether you’re making an ad or a painting. I don’t want to live in a future where only men are saying things, so get on it!”

What’s your advice to other scholarship applicants?
“Don’t be afraid to say good things about yourself. I went back and read the essays I submitted to the scholarship committee in 2015 and was shocked by how straightforward I was able to be about what I saw as my strengths and accomplishments.”

YANCI WU
Yanci is currently working as a user experience designer at AKQA Portland.

What inspires you?
“I’m inspired by different cultures and backgrounds. They challenge the things that I take for granted, widen my perspective, and diversify my thought processes. Living abroad and traveling to different cultures has made me realize that I have a biased world view. I now see that my understanding is greatly limited by my personal experiences and the environments in which I live or have lived. New places remind me to stay open, humble, and to absorb as much as I can.”

How would you encourage other women to go into a creative field?
“To me, going into a creative field is not about making something pretty or buzzworthy; it is not about winning awards or earning a high salary. These things are all desirable, of course, but there must be something deeper that motivates every pixel, word, or line of code. Maybe it’s a sense of responsibility, since what we are making is shaping perceptions and behaviors of tomorrow. Maybe it’s the passion to help build and transform brands that can make a positive impact. Or perhaps it’s the belief that technology should be harnessed to solve the right problems. There’ll be plenty of day-to-day mundane tasks, but don’t lose sight of that purpose.”

Share a moment when you overcame adversity
“I see adversity as an opportunity to grow. First of all, I force myself to face it directly, as opposed to avoiding it. I acknowledge the existence of my emotions — disappointment, fear, anxiety — and understand that it’s within my human nature to feel all of these things. The next and the most important step is determining what’s in my control and what’s not. I must set things aside that I have no control over and focus on the specific things I can do to improve the situation. I remind myself and others to never turn away from something based on fear, insecurity, or irrational assumptions. It’s about remaining grounded, focused, and trusting that there are always multiple answers to any given question.”

OLIVIA REID COOPER
Olivia is currently a senior art director at Annex88, a small shop that specializes in social media and content. She is on briefs from clients like St. Germain, Y-3, and Mars Candy.

What inspires you?
“I’m inspired by women who are unapologetically doing it (life) their way. And by my mom, who thinks I can do anything in the world and who, from a young age, empowered me to refuse gender roles and unsubscribe from society’s expectation of what a woman should be, say, and do in every aspect of life.”

What would you change about our industry?
“In tomorrow’s agency world, there’d be way more women in higher-level positions, including the C-Suite, and we’d have an abundance of feminist men alongside us rallying behind our cause, stepping up to advocate for us, and pushing for female interviewees, instead of passively doing the opposite.”

If you could ride off into the sunset on anything, what would it be?
“I’m going to keep it really classic here and say I’ll be riding off into the sunset on a horse with a long, beautifully flowing mane.”

MIKAILA WEAVER
Mikaila was our first scholarship recipient and is currently a senior experience designer at R/GA in New York.

What’s your advice to other scholarship applicants?
“Don’t be afraid to say what you want. If you want to run the world one day, say it. Show it. Embody it in everything you do. If you don’t, that’s cool too. Just be honest with yourself and everyone else about what you want and own your own destiny.”

How would you encourage other women to go into a creative field?
“We have to let go of our inhibitions and fears about not being good enough. Whether it’s a creative field or a technical one or anything really, just know that you are good enough. Be confident that you deserve everything that you work for no matter your gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.”

What’s your dream job?
“Every project that I work on is my dream job, and I’m not kidding. I’m incredibly passionate about what I do, and I can always find something to love, even if it’s the driest, most boring brief imaginable. Solving problems creatively is what gets me up in the morning, without a doubt.”

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scholarship / wongterns