Accelerated Career Series: Lem Turner
Success and the path to achieve it look different for everyone, and the journey never really ends. However, one common denominator among many Fellows is the sheer speed at which their career takes off, thanks to their Orr Fellowship experience. This article series highlights the unique experiences of three accomplished Orr Alumni, beginning with Lem Turner.
The Journey: Orr Fellow > Amazon Advertising Specialist > Brand Evangelist > Brand Manager II (4 years post-grad)
Lem was drawn to the community Orr had to offer. While he was open-minded to what his career could be, he knew a post-grad community would be important to him based on the impact playing team sports had on him growing up. He loved the idea of what he would benefit from after his time in Orr Fellowship: “As a full-fledged professional, I left the nest, I had my wings, and came out of it with a network of at least 100 people.”
Time as an Orr Fellow
As a Fellow at SupplyKick, an eCommerce agency, Lem started in a Customer Success role where he was able to learn quickly about the company and take on special projects. As a result, over the course of six months, Lem was able to find a passion for advertising within Amazon, which he believes he wouldn’t have discovered if it wasn’t for the unique exposure he got within an Orr partner company. Since SupplyKick is so specialized in Amazon advertising, Lem was able to grow quickly.
Aside from loving his role, Lem also appreciated getting to work at a startup right after graduation. He valued the ability to try new things and the fact that “in a startup, you really get that your presence is noticed and your absence is equally noticed as well.”
Outside of work, Lem was heavily active in Orr Fellowship: “I threw everything I had into Orr because I only had two years. You get as much out of Orr as you put in.” Lem used Orr’s variety of opportunities to learn more about what he liked and develop as a leader. For instance, he at one time considered working at a social media agency, so he joined Orr’s social media and analytics team. Additionally, he was able to take a leadership role as the School Recruitment Lead for Ball State, his alma mater.
He was also passionate about D&I, and became Orr’s first Director of D&I as part of the Fellowship Leadership Team. In his role as Director, he said it “gave me a quick glimpse of what it is like to manage people. I could get all the early mistakes out of the way and say that I experienced having direct reports to me, and that’s something that is also really appealing.”
Once his time in Orr was over, Lem was a freelance consultant for a few months. He soon acknowledged a craving for a collaborative working environment and chose to return to the Amazon marketing scene, securing a job as an ambassador for Helium10, an agency he worked with while at SupplyKick. Lem had the opportunity to be a true thought leader in the space, speaking at conferences, writing articles, and hosting a podcast. He also worked client-side, giving strategic recommendations to companies selling on Amazon, all while learning from running his own Amazon business, BeltBuddys, as an entrepreneur.
Lem has since moved to Global Overview, an advertising services company, as Brand Manager II. He shared that his time in Orr prepared him well for the role: “I knew how to navigate ambiguity and verbalize my approach on how to make the best out of a tough situation.” As Brand Manager II, Lem spends his days crafting and managing marketing and promotional strategies for big-name brands. Of course, never neglecting to think about his future, Lem is most excited about the leadership opportunities and growth potential at Global Overview: “Ensuring that your job title has a proven track record of vertical career growth is important to me.”
What can we learn from Lem?
- Be open-minded, go all-in and say yes to things that will push you out of your comfort zone. You never know what you’ll discover about yourself if you do.
- It’s impactful to start your career in a place where you can try new things, are relatively safe to fail, and your successes are felt.
- Discover what you’re passionate about, and then go where you know you can continue to grow.
Connect with Lem on LinkedIn.