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Lorraine Little completed her education at UW-Superior in 1994, by earning her degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in both Finance and International Business. After she completed college, Little began her career work by getting involved in a couple of non-profit organizations. Her work with these groups eventually brought her into her present place of employment, where she worked her way up the ladder into her current job. She now holds a position working as a Senior Manager at Enbridge Energy Company.
After working with the non-profit organizations, Little's interest in public relationships and community work continued to grow. Her experiences in these community positions are what ultimately got her onboard working at Enbridge, where she started off working at a typical entry level position. As she gained more experience working within the company, she was continuously promoted into higher positions.
Little's job as a Senior Manger required her to have at least a bachelor's degree in a closely-related field, as well as at least ten years of relevant experiences. Though this number of years may seem daunting, Little had accumulated that in the time it took for her to get started in the company and move step by step into progressively better positions.
Little's entire job title with Enbridge is Senior Manager of US Public Affairs, Liquids Operators, and Projects. With the long name comes a long list of job responsibilities to go along with it. She works within various portions of the corporation from work in the community doing advertising and projects with the media, to management positions such as overseeing the pipeline production for new buildings and effectively handling emergency communication. Because of these requirements, much of Little's time is spent in meetings or on the phone, working with others to get things done efficiently.
As she puts it, "If I'm not talking to people, I'm not doing my job." Communication is the key to her position.
Though there are certainly a lot of jobs to get done at Enbridge, Little truly enjoys all of her work with her company and the community. Her strength in communicating with people and her drive to keep everyone connected and up to date on current projects ensures that tasks are completed correctly and efficiently. Unfortunately, with all of the work to be done, it can be hard for Little to decide what matters to focus on first, since
there are often times multiple tasks that are contending for precedence. A lot of time and hard work goes into her job.
Little does not believe that there is any set level of education directly correlated to a successful work career. It is truly dependent on what type of field you are looking to become a part of. Little would recommend to students to start wherever you can, whether it is going to college to receive a degree or even if it is learning how to do something small and developing more skills and a deeper understanding of the trade from there. Education is important no matter what stage of the learning process you are in. How far you need to progress your skills really depends upon what your career
Another piece of advice that Little would like to share is to take advantage of any opportunities that come your way that can help you to gain experience for future work prospects. Though she received some practice working in Communications in college, Little wishes she would have taken more classes within the field to help build her skills further.
You can never be sure how something may benefit you later down the road. Even if it is something that may not seem directly applicable to your career goals, it is still important to get involved. Your experiences may have more relevance than what you even realize, or you may change your mind about what job you see yourself working in. The more knowledge you can gain, the better prepared you will be for whatever life throws your way.
Lorraine Little was interviewed as a part of the Career Services Day in the Life project. Her full interview and those of other UW-Superior alumni can be found on the Day in the Life website, http://www.uwsuper.edu/career/students/a-day-in-the-life.cfm.
Interview conducted by Tashina Martinson on February 24, 2012. Article written by Kristen Jasperson.
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