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Volunteer Spotlight: Shannon Olson

July 20, 2020 1:00PM

Everything that AMA Minnesota offers would not be possible without the amazing work of our volunteers. Often their work is done behind the scenes. To thank our volunteers and bring their efforts to light, we regularly showcase them in a Volunteer Spotlight.

Meet Shannon Olson, AMA MN VP, Marketing & Communications!

Volunteer Since: Summer 2019

Job Title: Founder

Company: Indee Marketing Co-op

1. Why did you decide to become a volunteer with AMA MN?

I was a newbie to the AMA and volunteering on the board sort of found me! I had just made (what many believed was a crazy) decision to leave my 12-year corporate gig to totally change it up and spend time figuring out what I wanted in my next professional adventure. In that period of transition, I attended the AMA holiday social event and met Alissa Bartlett, who was leading the volunteer committee. After a lovely convo and lot of laughs, she asked if I wanted to join the board. Intrigued and wanting to spend more time building relationships with peeps like Alissa, I said yes. And, that’s where the story began.

2. What do you enjoy most about being a board member for your committee?

I’m the sort of person that gets the most out of things and am most engaged in the cause when I roll up my sleeves and dive in head first. And, that has proven true again with my service on the AMA board as VP of the MarCom committee. I’ve enjoyed meeting such amazing people – both on my MarCom committee and across the AMA MN organization as a whole. Everyone brings different levels of skill, come from different industries and different roles – that means we have a wide variety of perspectives, which is what makes this organization so beautiful. We truly cut across all aspects of marketing and welcome everyone.

3. Why is being a volunteer with AMA MN important to you?

I love being a connector and a builder. And, I get to be both with the AMA. I’m regularly meeting other awesome MN marketers through our events and programming and do my best to connect dots for people in their work and as they find what’s next in their careers. But, most of all, I love that I get to mentor and help other volunteers learn and grow. I run the MarCom committee – and we have tons of fun, while my volunteers get to push themselves and build valuable skills they can use in their day jobs.

4. What’s the one thing you wish others knew about volunteering with AMA MN? What makes it unique?

We have so many different ways you can participate! With multiple committees and flexibility on commitment level, we work with volunteers to help them get the most out of their volunteer opportunity. From helping on a project basis to ongoing committee or board service, we love putting local marketers – or aspiring marketers – skills to work for the AMA community overall.

5. What is some of the best advice you've received in your career?

Early in your career, you can’t really make a wrong move as long as with each new job you’re learning new skills. The more skills you can master, the more marketable you become and the more flexibility and control you have over your career. This is especially true for those of you who, like me, are built on adaptability and love a new challenge!

Also, you’ll never feel 100% ready. And, it’s in those times of feeling totally unqualified that you’ll learn the most and show yourself and others how much you’re really capable of. Trust yourself and don’t be afraid to learn through failure.

6. Besides volunteering, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I’m in my happy place when I’m on, in or near water. So, I spend as much of my MN summers kayaking, paddle boarding and trying any other water sport every chance I can get. I’m also a HUGE dog lover, so can often be found with my two 70 lb pitties.

And, lately, all my spare time has been used launching my new biz! After leaving cushy corporate leadership I opted for independent consulting. Along the way, I met so many other brilliant solopreneurs who all missed collaboration. My mind immediately started dreaming up how we could create a model that celebrated independents, but created a space where we could support and work with one another – and, of course, clients could easily find and work with us! Enter Indee, a modern marketing co-op that does just that and was built by a bunch of amazing freelancers. I keep saying I’m not sure what I’ve gotten myself into with this one, but I’m looking forward to the adventure.

Connect with Shannon on LinkedIn!