Mobile Advertising Sales Strategy Executive,
Google | New York, NY
Describe your current profession:
I’m a media sales strategy executive at Google. I’ve been at Google for almost nine years, and in that time, I’ve focused on digital ad sales, but most recently I’ve been specializing in mobile advertising, consulting with Fortune 500 advertisers on how they can improve their mobile sites and apps, make smart mobile media choices, and measure the impact of those choices efficiently and effectively.
What characteristics or skills do you feel are necessary for one to possess to excel in your industry?
Some of the skills that have helped me succeed and grow in media sales are presentation skills, time management skills, and interpersonal communication skills. There are a wide range of roles available in the media sales industry, though, which leaves room for individuals with diverse skill sets. Another great skill to have is confidence with data analysis and associated tools.
What are the biggest challenges facing female professionals today, and what is your advice for them to overcome those obstacles?
Leadership opportunities are built on the foundation of strong relationships. I believe that to be true for both women and men -- and true for strong relationships with both women and men. One thing that I’ve become acutely aware of in the first decade of my career is that there’s real truth in the cliché, “It’s about who you know” -- it really is so important to build a circle of people who can vouch for your work, your character, and the value that you bring to the table. Once I began to understand the importance of relationships to success and leadership, I started rearranging my schedule to make time for relationship-building. For the last several years I’ve made a point to sit down for lunch or coffee with people at least three times a week to build those relationships and to keep them strong.
Connecting with others face to face, especially in this hyper-digital world we live in, is such an important way to create and maintain the real, human relationships from which leadership opportunities are made.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your career and how did you overcome it?
The most challenging aspect of my career has been finding a way to scratch my creative itch professionally while working in the fast-paced and demanding world of digital ad sales and client services. I think it’s a struggle that a lot of liberal arts majors who join the business world face. I’ve always loved English and history and while I was able to nurture those passions at Georgetown, it isn’t always so easy to do so these days. My solution has been to take up writing on the side and my first novel was published in late 2015.
Tell us a bit about your novel.
A Northern Gentleman is the story of handsome and quick-witted Drucker May, who is miserable in the privileged life that he leads working at a bank in Atlanta. So he runs away. He wants to find what it is that he’s really supposed to do with his life and he wants to have a good time doing it. Because the year is 1890, the people who he meets after he leaves Atlanta have no easy way to find out who he really is, allowing Drucker to reinvent himself in each stop that he makes along the way to California. As he travels, he explores late 19th century America as well as his own identity – both real and mistaken – all while solving a mystery, falling in love and getting caught up in a Wild West caper gone awry.
It’s historical fiction, but one of the reasons it’s been resonating so well with readers is that it asks a question that so many people these days are wrestling with, which is, “What should I do with my life?”
The plot is filled with the twists, turns, and adventures that Drucker gets himself into when he finds the courage to leave his desk job in search of a life with purpose and meaning. Anyone feeling unfulfilled at work these days may want to pick up a copy. Living out the fantasy of quitting your job to go hunting for your destiny through Drucker is a lot of fun, and certainly a lot more cost-effective than leaving a job that pays the bills!
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment so far?
Writing and publishing A Northern Gentleman is my most meaningful accomplishment because writing a novel is something that I have wanted to do since I was about nine years old. Even though there were roadblocks along the way (including taking a four-year hiatus from writing and having a full-time job while writing), I stuck with it because I just couldn’t forget about this story. I wanted to tell it. And I knew the only way to make sure it was told was to push forward one word at a time until it was done. And so that’s what I did.
Any parting words of wisdom for your fellow Hoyas?
I’ve found that one of the keys to professional fulfillment is finding a way to incorporate your natural talents and passions into your work output. If you feel that your “day job” doesn’t provide enough opportunities for you to flex those muscles, create a side project that does. So, if you ever, as I do so often, find yourself wondering what it is you’re supposed to be doing with your life, I offer two pieces of advice: Either look to those things that you are most passionate about and layer them into your life. Or, instead, make like the hero of A Northern Gentleman and drop everything in search of a life that will have meaning for you. You may just find a novel’s worth of adventures along the way.