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March Employee Spotlight: Megan Kannard
Something you might not know about Megan is that she’s kind of OCD. This trait makes her extremely detail oriented and a fantastic marketing director. She’s always juggling many different tasks, from working with the content team on upcoming projects to doing a little design on the side to asking the other departments on dates.
At Red Nova Labs, marketing takes on a large variety of projects and Megan is our valiant leader. She started off as a designer but just a couple months into the position, there was a role that needed to be filled and Megan stepped up to the plate. Now she coordinates all the inside and outside marketing for RNL and loves it.
Unlike higher ups at many companies, she is always available to listen to your ideas and understands if you just need to vent for a minute. I was lucky enough to get to sit down with her and get to know her a bit better through the art of interviewing:
Andrea: Where did you go to college and what did you major in?
Megan: I went to school at Kansas State University. I got my degree in graphic design. Spent a rediculous amount of time in studio. I also took a bunch of advertising and PR classes and ended with an accidental minor in mass communications.
A: Where’d you work before you landed a gig at RNL?
M: I worked for K-State's marketing department for a while and eventually landed at a KC startup called LiveOn designing their web application. It was a crazy cool experience that led me to Adam and Beth. Unfortunately, it did not "Live-On", and I relocated to TouchNet. It was also a tech company but was drastically different. I gave it a shot but I missed the challenge of startups. I went to one of RNL’s startup crawls. I wasn't actually looking to work here but I met Chris Klein who introduced me to the next person I met as "Megan, the girl that wants a job here." One thing led to another and here I am. That was almost exactly a year ago.
A: Why did you decide to go into graphic design?
M: I've practically been making projects since I was born. My parents still have my collection of fake businesses, check books, paintings, greeting cards, scrap books... So I naturally just stumbled into it. I've always been crafty but my high school art teacher suggested I check out graphic design. So, I applied to a few programs. K-State's was pretty intense and I’m the kind of person that will prove myself if you tell me I can’t do something. A couple years in, I actually mapped out what it'd take to change majors. Thank goodness I stuck with it.
A: Were you artistic as a kid?
M: Ah man, I was always crafting something. I made bracelets and paintings but I nerdily did just as much organizing of my craft supplies. My beads and embroidery thread were all color coded. I loved getting brand new sets of markers and crayons. Such a werido! But yes, I was an artsy kid. When I wasn’t crafting, I was a little entrepreneur making my own menus and coming up with fake restaurant ideas. I remember making little punch cards for my family on the holidays to get deliveries from my "restaurant". Who does that? And why am I telling you this?
A: Do you still enjoy doing artistic projects like painting?
M: School pretty much burnt me out. We took so many fine arts classes...
A: I’ve heard your apartment is perfect. Does that have to do with your need to organize?
M: Ha, I suppose. It's pretty nice to have my own place. You already pegged my OCD so when it's just me, everything can have it's spot. It's taken me a couple years but I've been able to piece it together. My newest addition is a sweet set of half lime green, half white color block salt and pepper shakers.
A: I know that “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” is your favorite quote. Why is that?
M: Life passes quickly. When you make yourself do uncomfortable things, it’s really hard but you always learn so much from it. I wouldn’t trade that motto for the world. I think life is so much more fulfilling if you’re pushing yourself and doing things you never thought you would.
A: This is a kind of random question, but I heard you used to hate chocolate. Tell me about that.
M: I did as a child! I’ll eat it now. Whenever people would bring treats to school for birthdays or other celebrations, they’d bring a chocolate-free “Megan treat.” There was a time in school where we broke into teams and had a mock Fear Factor competition. One event was an eating-as-fast-as-you-can deal. Some kids got gross stuff like spam, I got their dream: a brownie. And I lost the competition for us because I hated chocolate and couldn’t eat it fast enough.
A: Speaking of middle school, you grew up in a small town, right? What was that like?
M: I lived in Hutchinson, Kansas, which had around 40,000 residents but I went to a small school in Buhler (population: a little more than 1,000). I thought I grew up in a big town because everyone from the small towns around me would come to Hutchinson to shop. When I went to college I realized it wasn’t that big. When I moved to Kansas City, I realized it was pretty small. I really loved growing up there though. The only thing to do there was to get to know people and make your own memories. There wasn’t anything to distract us.
A: Do you think you’ll ever move back to a small town?
M: I’ve always wanted my kids to have the same life as me because I’m really grateful for my upbringing, but I don’t think I could do it. I couldn’t give up the simple luxury of being able to go to multiple grocery stores. I’ll probably stay somewhere around the size of Kansas City.
A: Last question: Do you have any special talents?
Hm, my fingers are double jointed. I can still name my childhood friends' home phone numbers. And I can talk in this goofy, high cartoon voice. Does that count? Let's see...
I don't know if you'd call it a "talent" but I seem to relate to people well. I’ve powered through both good and bad times, so I try to put myself in everyone else’s shoes. You never know what road they're walking. It’s bittersweet but worth it to be a support.