Name: Ilana Fromm
Title and Organization: Director of Marketing, Lifecycle + Email at Little Spoon
Graduation Year and Degree: 2014; B.A. in Journalism
The startup world often gets a bad rap. Rumors of long hours for low pay and the chance to play ping pong in the break room have circled the internet for decades. But the reality of most startups is that while they may be risky, they offer incredible access to company leaders and the immense opportunity for growth to the right person ready to take the leap. J-School alum, Ilana Fromm, decided the benefits were worth the risk. Fromm joined Little Spoon, an organic baby food company, in January 2020 and has spent the past three and a half years on the ground floor of a growing, successful company.
When it comes to your career and professional accomplishments, what are you most proud of?
Taking a risk and joining an early-stage startup in January 2020! Prior to joining Little Spoon, I had worked in marketing in-house at more established companies and the stereotypes around startups and work/life balance definitely worried me a bit! But I was excited about Little Spoon’s mission and incredibly impressed with the founders. It was the best career decision I’ve ever made. I joined the team when there were just nine employees and we had one product line. In the last three and a half years, I’ve seen us grow to almost 60 employees with four product lines (and more on the way!), and am so proud of the work we’re doing. Little Spoon also changed my career path and allowed me to learn and grow in ways that are only possible at a small, scrappy startup.
What’s the best advice you have for a J-School student who wants to do what you do?
There are many ways to use your Journalism degree and not everyone’s career path is linear. Don’t get discouraged in the early years of your career if your experience doesn’t look like your peers’. Enjoy the journey, say yes, raise your hand for the extra project and learn as much as you can along the way.
What is your favorite J-School memory?
So many to choose from! Getting ten points off in a J202 project for spelling someone’s name wrong (a fact error that will always make me triple check my work), presenting our J202 final projects and the post-presentation bar crawl, graduating in Camp Randall alongside my J-School classmates, and video conferencing with Professor Schwoch when I received an offer for my first job (while he enjoyed a summer day at the Terrace!).
BONUS: When we say “J-School,” what do you think of?
Two words: Anhydrous Ammonia