Have you ever wanted to apply for a new job and weren’t sure if it was the right fit or wanted to pivot to a new industry entirely and didn’t know where to start? Well, this might be your chance!

Freestar recently launched a new Ad Tech Associate program to give candidates who were interested in our space a chance to join Freestar and learn the ropes from our world-class team of experts. This new role was introduced earlier this year and led by Alyssa Pagoria, Associate Director of Customer Success. 

What is an Ad Tech Associate?

This entry-level role is excellent for any self-motivated candidate willing to dig in and learn a new subject matter. An Ad Tech Associate (ATA) has the opportunity to learn about the ad tech industry and how Freestar’s ad tech products and services maximize revenue for publishers. The program has an Ad Tech Associate working within each department at Freestar, from Business Development to Revenue Operations, to see how each department functions and what they mean to the overall company mission. 

Alyssa shares, “The program’s purpose is to fully equip anyone new to the ad tech space or looking for a career change, not only at Freestar but possibly in the various areas of ad tech. The industry is hard to break into, especially if you’re straight out of college and don’t know which direction you want to go. It’s a great way to get a foundation of knowledge for many different business areas.” 

After an Ad Tech Associate completes the program, they can start a full-time position in a department where they are the best fit. Throughout the program, Alyssa conducts check-ins and asks questions like “What do you think of that team? Where would you rank the department?” This helps Alyssa and PeopleOps understand where they might fit in the organization. 

The Benefits of the Training Program

Implementing a program like this is a long-term investment into the best resource that impacts how Freestar services our publishers. That resource is our people. Here are just a few benefits of our Ad Tech Associate program:

  • It improves skills and knowledge: Ad Tech Associates can upskill themselves and have better industry knowledge by training with each department at Freestar.  
  • Provides more opportunities: There is an opportunity to grow at Freestar and ad tech. Ad Tech Associates can move from their Associate role to a new role in a department they’d like to continue exploring.
  • Improves IT skills: Ad Tech Associates also learn to work within Freestar’s systems, including Salesforce, Looker, Google Ad Manager, and Command Centre. This improves their IT skills and workplace efficiency.  
  • Instilling confidence: With the proper training, Ad Tech Associates can be more confident in their skills and knowledge, which will eventually help them increase their productivity.  
  • Improved task management: Ad Tech Associates were assigned various projects throughout the program. This helped them to grasp the work process better and to handle their tasks more readily. 

Hearing from our Ad Tech Associates

One of the remarkable outcomes of this program was the friendships developed by the Associates. Working closely with the ATAs, Alyssa “loved seeing the camaraderie and the friendships they developed. Watching it was extraordinary and unique because they were all doing this brand new program together.”

Our first cohort of Ad Tech Associates has completed the program. We sat down with Paul Revak and Patricia Earixson to learn more about their experience and where they decided to continue their ad tech career.

What made you apply to the program?

Paul: I just graduated recently from Indiana, and I’d been looking for a job for a while now, and so many entry-level jobs I was looking at would still require two-plus years of experience. 

I came across Freestar’s listing about the role, and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to learn about the business and how it operates and just get my foot in the door. 

Patricia: I was looking to do something different. I had been working in an industry for decades and was bored with what I was doing. Freestar came highly recommended, and I decided to research the company. I was excited by the prospect of learning and being part of an exciting company. If I had to work one last job of my life, I would want to go out with a bang! 

Can you share any pros/cons of the program?

Paul: While in the ATA program, my comfort level of sitting in so many meetings improved. I wasn’t totally sure if I wanted to be more behind-the-scenes or client-facing, but after being exposed to countless meetings, I’m more comfortable talking and being on calls.

Another pro of the program was just seeing how we all work cross-functionally. Yes, you may be in one department, but you often must communicate and work collaboratively with another department. 

Patricia: The opportunity to work within each department was phenomenal. You can understand how the puzzle pieces fit together and how everyone works so well. I understood the “We, Not Me” mentality better. 

A pro of the program is the availability of information and the ability to ask questions. There’s no such thing as stupid questions here! It was also great to hear from other colleagues we were shadowing that they had similar experiences of being new to ad tech.

What was it like being in the program and rotating different departments?

Paul: It was great to rotate teams and see how we all work together. The only downside was completing our projects for one department, but we had already moved to another. If anything, it taught us how to manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Patricia: Working in every department opened my eyes to how the company functions. Moving from department to department was a bit hard, but it exposed me to new teams, processes and technology I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

What’s your new role?

Paul: I’m now a Business Development Representative.

Patricia: I’m working in Audience Development as an Associate Manager.

How did you decide on your new team/department?

Paul: Through working with Laura, David and Jonah, I realized I had so much to learn and gain from working with them. I wasn’t always interested in Sales or BD, but this is the best opportunity to gain the most experience from seasoned Sales/BD experts.

Patricia: When I initially sat down with Lindsay Valdez, Associate Director of Audience Development, I was speechless and thought I wouldn’t understand what Audience Development is. I nervously Slacked Alyssa, and she reminded me to breathe and that this wouldn’t come to me overnight. 

After working with Lindsay and seeing her interactions with publishers, I realized that this was a department where I see a lot of growth for the company and me. I knew I wanted to be part of it!

Lastly, would you recommend this program and why?

Paul: I absolutely would! It’s an excellent opportunity for someone like me, a new graduate looking to get their foot in the door!

Patricia: I would recommend this program, especially where Freestar is going. Freestar is phenomenal, and you can tell the excitement level is so sincere. 

What’s Next?

With the success of this program, Freestar is already on its way to starting its second cohort of ATAs. We’re always looking for ways to improve our employees’ training and development opportunities. This is just one way we can do that from the beginning of their career.

Do you know someone who might be interested? Look for our Ad Tech Associate role on our Careers page!