Leonard Leadership Scholar Class of 2011
- Senior Specialist, Store Operations, Target Corporation
- BBA, Finance, University of Georgia (2011)
Anne Karam is one of the 995 values-based, impact-driven leaders ILA has been developing over the past decade. She earned a BBA in Finance from UGA in 2011 and has been taking risks and forging ahead in her career at Target’s corporate office ever since. Anne is a vivacious, young business leader who has an amazing exuberance about her career and her life.
Through each challenge and in every leadership moment, she believes that “stress and attitude are contagious.” Anne tries to be calm, focused, and positive in every situation so that she is able to take control of the leadership climate. Doing so has allowed Anne to work through conflict and stressful business situations.
Anne entered UGA as a Foundation Fellow with some of the best and brightest. Soon after arriving on campus, she joined Pi Beta Phi sorority where she would later take on major leadership roles. During her sorority experience Anne developed life-long friendships and spent a year serving on Pi Phi’s executive board as Vice President of Administration. As an upper-classman, Anne was named a Deer Run Fellow, Blue Key Honor Society member, and a Leonard Leadership Scholar. Anne credits much of her success to the people with whom she surrounded herself. She believes that all of her opportunities at UGA set her up for a successful career.
Although Anne’s college resume boasted many accomplishments, as she searched for her first job, she began to recognize the importance of differentiating her “true-self” from who she is on paper. Anne spent a significant time in self-reflection throughout her junior and senior years, asking herself: “What is important to me? Who am I? Who do I want to be?” Anne says that asking these questions has enabled her to be true of herself in every decision she makes.
Throughout the PDLP process, Anne developed a deep understanding of the importance of personal growth, responsibility, positivity, and stewardship. It is these things that she now carries with her. She explains that “no matter what is going on, when you stay true to your core values, you know everything will work out how it’s supposed to. Even if the road ahead doesn’t seem clear in the moment. Thinking of life in this way has helped me to be open to opportunities and to seek growth experiences, despite the uncertainty I may feel at the same time.”
For Anne, it was easy to conform to the traditional views of how a business-person should behave. Anne recalls: “I had a pre-conceived notion of the business world and how I needed to fit into that. But I learned that you never have to sacrifice your personality and values to fit the stereotype that some people have of the business world.” The answers to the questions Anne had been asking throughout ILA brought incredible clarity to her as she evaluated her next steps. Knowing her personal purpose and values, Anne was able to determine which corporate culture lined up most closely with those. For Anne, that company was Target. “I knew I would be given a lot of ownership and responsibility straight out of school.” Anne recalls, “They gave me the authority to make big decisions and I loved the fast, fun, and friendly culture.”
By working hard in her first few years with the company, Anne had the opportunity to share her professional goals with her managers. Doing this has allowed Anne to transition into a role that she is passionate about early on. “Think about what you want,” Anne advises, “search for a role that will fulfill you and work really hard to get there and the right opportunity will reveal itself.” Although it was hard for Anne to trust the uncertainty of life after college, she has learned to let go of some of the control while staying true to herself. She hopes to be open to the possibilities and opportunities of the future, but also be completely rooted in the joys of the present. Anne has come to appreciate this quote: “If you’re feeling frightened about what comes next, don’t. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path towards happiness…if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart, where your hope lives. You’ll find your way again.”
Anne Karam is a spirited and selfless leader, and she is just one of the 995.