Position title: Account Manager
Major: Journalism (emphasis in Strategic Communication) & Sociology
Certificate: Digital Studies
Graduation Date: May 2015
How did you end up at Pinterest?
In my career so far, I’ve been able to experience multiple aspects of the advertising industry, which has helped me hone in on what I enjoy doing the most. In college, I had a couple internships on campus, which gave me good experience and transferable skills when applying for internships in Chicago (the city I knew I wanted to work in) between my junior and senior years.
I was able to get an internship that summer at Spark Foundry, which is a media buying agency in Chicago. That internship experience helped me learn about media agency positions and culture, so I narrowed my search for full-time jobs exclusively to agencies. I ended up accepting a full-time position with Spark once I graduated, and spent 2.5 years there working on the video investment team (which handles media buying for TV and online video).
Being on the investment team at Spark, I worked a lot with media vendors, as the go-between for advertising platforms and my clients. This is what helped me decide that I wanted to move to the media platform side of the advertising industry for my next role. I specifically wanted to work for a digital media platform, knowing that digital advertising was becoming increasingly important in the marketing ecosystem. Job searching at those types of companies is how I landed at Pinterest!
What does a typical day in the office look like for you?
In my role as an Account Manager at Pinterest, I spend a lot of time working with clients on how Pinterest can serve their digital advertising needs. Account Managers are primarily involved in media campaign strategy to help advertisers understand the best way to reach their target audience on Pinterest and to report on how campaigns are performing. We are a client’s main point of contact for their current Pinterest campaigns and are also a resource when clients have ideas for future campaigns. Part of what I enjoy about being an Account Manager is finding insights through data, which can be in the form of analyzing Pinner behavior to find trends or analyzing campaign performance to recommend changes or insights.
How has Digital Studies influenced your career path?
Digital Studies is really helpful for understanding the digital media ecosystem. When working with clients, you need to understand what’s important for them to grow their business, what they’re trying to achieve through digital media marketing, and how to advise them to achieve those results. Working in the advertising industry involves analyzing how consumers are interacting with and consuming media from a macro view, and understanding digital media is a huge part of that.
Did you have a favorite Digital Studies class?
I took Communication Arts 346: Critical Internet Studies about the history of the internet and how it has evolved to how we experience it today, and it was so interesting to think about the internet through that lens. We all use the internet as consumers, but thinking critically about how and why we use the internet the way we do is a really interesting and important topic (especially since I now work for an internet company!).
Do you have any advice for current students?
I would encourage students to be really curious and explore the things that interest them because it could lead to opportunities or job fields that they hadn’t originally considered. Internships are a great way to learn about future career paths and what is the right fit for them.
I’d also encourage students to use their network of current and former Badgers as resources. Your current classmates will be your future professional network, and UW alums at companies that interest you are a great resource for informational interviews to understand what it’s like to work there.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career thus far?
When I was working on large beauty brands as my clients at Pinterest, my team was looking for a way to increase engagement with a wide variety of decision makers. I designed an insights newsletter that I wrote based on current Pinterest trends every month that was sent to all of our contacts. Not only was it really fun each month to explore what was trending in the beauty space, but the newsletter also led to clients reaching out to learn more and facilitated new meetings and contacts for my team.