Position title: Senior Account Manager
Major: Journalism (emphasis in Strategic Communication)
Certificate: Digital Studies
Graduation Date: December 2015
How did you end up at AdTheorent?
Throughout the Strategic Communication course track in college, I was particularly interested in Media Planning. I decided to pursue that at the entry-level and sought out Associate Media Planner positions after graduation and I was fortunate to receive an offer at a small- to mid-size advertising agency in Chicago. I started as an associate and was promoted to Media Planner over 2.5 years. During my time there, I was exposed to hundreds of different jobs I didn’t even know existed when I was in college.
At the Chicago agency, we partnered with AdTheorent, which is how I first learned about it and the possibilities elsewhere. I applied for an Account Manager role at AdTheorent and after working here for 2.5 years, I was promoted to my current role as Senior Account Manager.
What does a typical day in the office look like for you?
No one day is the same! I manage and maintain cross-channel, programmatic advertising campaigns in partnership with clients and internal teams to help clients connect with their customers/users. Acting as the main point of contact post-sale, some of my projects include fulfilling client reporting requests, setting up campaigns properly upon launch and ensuring they are running smoothly throughout the campaign, troubleshooting issues during a campaign, ensuring we are achieving and maintaining campaign performance and client satisfaction, and managing client expectations while adhering to internal processes and guidelines. The easiest way to put it is that I’m a Project Manager for digital advertising campaigns.
How has Digital Studies influenced your career path?
Digital Studies has definitely helped me in my career so far. I have had to use some of the programs/applications we used in Digital Studies courses throughout my career, so having some knowledge of them previously was very helpful. Specifically, having learned some very basic coding in Com Arts 155 has helped me learn and understand various aspects of my current and former positions faster. Having this coding knowledge specifically is something I think will only become more valuable as the world rapidly progresses through the digital age.
Did you have a favorite Digital Studies class?
Communication Arts 155: Introduction to Digital Media Production and Communication Arts 346: Critical Internet Studies were two of my favorite Digital Studies classes. I loved learning and experimenting with all of the different media forms and learning the basics of website coding in Com Arts 155. In Com Arts 346, learning the history of the Internet was fascinating to me, and it was mind blowing to see how it all got started compared to where we are today.
Do you have any advice for current students?
First, make the most of your time at UW. Join student orgs!! I recommend joining at least one that is focused on your career path and at least one fun one. I was in Hoofers Ski & Snowboard club and SUP (Stand Up Paddle-boarding) club for my fun ones!
Don’t be afraid to take a fun class that doesn’t translate to your major to fulfill some gen-ed requirements. I took Astronomy to fulfill some of the required science credit and it ended up being one of my favorite classes in college.
I also cannot recommend studying abroad enough. I am so glad I did it and think every single person should do it, if feasible. I recommend everyone at least explore it as an option. I was unsure of committing to a whole semester abroad, so I wound up doing an internship program over the summer in Ireland. It was one of the best decisions of my life and I was able to find an internship adjacent to my career path! You don’t need to be studying another language to study abroad either. There are plenty of English-speaking countries and programs that are available.
Second, work toward your professional life and career goals. Internships, networking, and your personal connections will give you such an advantage when looking for jobs after college. Don’t be afraid to message alumni or anyone else on LinkedIn to pick their brain about a company or a certain role or career path. People love talking about themselves, so asking how they got started in their career or how they got a certain opportunity is a great conversation starter. Use the ‘student’ label while you can because everybody wants to help out students.
When interviewing, confidence and tenacity are two big things to express. You’ll likely be looking for internships or entry level jobs where most candidates have little to no experience, so these are some of the main things employers look for.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career thus far?
I am most proud of earning the responsibility of managing the largest, most high profile book of business in the company and being promoted to Senior Account Manager, which comes with managing an associate.