What is your role at GumGum?

In a nutshell, I oversee all of our programmatic demand and supply partnerships and integrations, which lands me smack dab in the middle of being client-facing and technology-facing.

How has GumGum helped you in your career development?

My first job out of college, I was bright-eyed, bushy tailed and super excited. I was working at an ad agency that was trying to start their West Coast division. Unfortunately it failed, so at the age of 23 I was handed a severance package. Nothing can really prepare you for that. Luckily it landed me at GumGum, so everything happens for a reason. I joined the Ad Ops team and learned how all of the departments worked, about the core upbringing of our units and about our technology. I was super comfortable there, I was loving it and I was so happy to be at a safe place. 

About eight months into the role, the opportunity to join Adam’s team on Programmatic opened up. I was nervous about it because I was scared of failure. I didn't want to not be comfortable anymore, but GumGum pushed me and led me to take it. Without taking that risk, and without embracing that change, I definitely wouldn't be where I am today. I am so happy that I did it. So GumGum has really helped me understand that change is good and that you should always try not to stay comfortable—because that will push you to be better and greater, and not to be afraid of taking risks.

Without taking that risk, and without embracing that change, I definitely wouldn't be where I am today.

You just got a promotion to Director. How has your role changed with the new position?

There is definitely more responsibility and ownership for our partnerships. I have overseen them since I started. But really being the main driving force and starting to make those strategic decisions on where those partnerships will go—and what we will do—is a new undertaking. Going from the entry-level to this director position is definitely crazy, and honestly it is because I did embrace that change, and I did take those risks, and I wasn’t afraid of failure. You always have to be willing to adjust, mold and move. And this is where it took me.

What advice would you give to those who are at their entry-level roles here and are looking to grow their careers?

I would say: don’t be afraid of failure, don’t be afraid of taking risks. No one is going to hand you anything, so if you see something that needs to be done, or that is interesting and you want to try to grab it, go for it. No one is going to come up to you and ask. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

No one is going to hand you anything, so if you see something that needs to be done, or that is interesting and you want to try to grab it, go for it.

What is your motto or personal mantra?

“Nobody puts baby in a corner,” from Dirty Dancing. It’s saying, “Don’t let anyone corner you into someone that you are not, always be true to yourself and never be afraid to be yourself—go out there and grab what you want.”

What is your favorite blog or podcast?

My favorite podcast is LadyGang. Everyone should listen to LadyGang; it’s really good. It’s Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek and Becca Tobin. There are all Hollywood people in a sense, but they talk about girl problems, bring really great guests on the show and are very open and candid. I would suggest every single girl go listen to LadyGang.

What do you enjoy most about being apart of the programmatic team and working at GumGum?

Programmatic is relatively new in the advertising space, which is really exciting. Every single day it feels like there is a new challenge or obstacle that we have to adopt or figure out—and if we don’t, we may fail. So even from when I first started on the programmatic team to now, the ecospace is vastly different. Whenever we’re like, “Okay, we tackled that, we got that rule and regulation down, we survived, we’re good,” there’s something else popping up and a new challenge that we have to take on.

I love that I get to talk to our partners all day, every day. These are longtime partners that I’ve known since I started at GumGum, so the relationships are meaningful. On the flip side, I can also dive into the tech side of things with the help of our ad server team. They've all taught me the under-workings of these partnerships, which I like to say has put me at a second grade reading level of understanding engineering code. Basically, I get to see both sides of the track, which is what I enjoy the most. I've also been extremely lucky to have a leader who is more of a mentor and not just there to tell you to do X, Y and Z. Instead, he leads us in a way that gives us all the tools we need to make our own decisions and continue to develop ourselves. Oh, and I literally couldn't ask for a better team. 

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I am an ambivert, which is in between an extrovert and an introvert. I have very extroverted tendencies, but if I’m out, and putting myself out there too much, it drains me, and then it’s time for me to be an introvert and be by myself so that I can get my energy back. Everyone at GumGum knows that I “Irish Goodbye” everything. It's because I hit my wall, and then I'm like, “Okay, I’m gonna go away now.” Oh, and also, I eat mayo out of a jar...

Interviewed by: Alicia Yaden and Samira Escobar.