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 few cohorts of Ad Tech Associates have completed the program. We sat down with a few of them 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 always had a major interest in tech and with a tough job market after college I just wanted to get my foot in the door and learn as much as possible, ATA program was perfect for that!
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.
Matt: I was already working in advertising to some degree when I came across the ATA program but, this opportunity at Freestar seemed like a way to get a deeper knowledge of the industry. I made the decision to apply after I spoke with Eric D’Elia and heard nothing but good things about the program. From that point on, everyone I spoke to through the interview process just made me feel better and better about that decision.
Sarah: I heard great things about Freestar’s culture and it seemed like an amazing opportunity to jump into ad tech with no prior experience.
Richard: I was looking for a place to start my career, and I thought this was a great opportunity. I had no experience in the ad tech industry and was just starting my professional career. I saw it as an opportunity to learn the industry and find where exactly I wanted to grow.
Can you share any pros/cons of the program?
Paul: I don’t really have any cons of the program, some huge pros though are just getting familiar with all the different departments and people within the departments. It made me so much more comfortable especially with it being my first job out of college.
Matt: Pros: The people are just as nice and attentive as advertised. Everyone is generous with their time and willing to answer pretty much any and every question.
They give you the space and time to learn in the program. There isn’t pressure to come in and understand it all immediately so you can focus on just learning.
You can access all tiers of the company. Getting a hold of the founder, CEO, etc. is relatively easy. It isn’t a situation where the leaders of the company are mysterious figures.
Cons: Biggest con I’d say is that there was a bit of confusion towards the end about what open position there were for us to go into. A couple of us were scrambling at the end to rework our rankings and priorities which was tough. If that could get remedied that would be a huge plus.
Sarah: The remote aspect is huge pro for me but I think it would be a con for someone who is craving a more traditional office environment. You need to be comfortable speaking up and asking questions! Staying engaged is really important.
Richard: There are a lot of pros and cons to this program. It’s a great way to enter the ad tech industry without any experience. There isn’t pressure to stick to one path as the program lets you rotate through many departments, allowing you to choose the path that fits you best. However, there’s a lot of information to process as you grow your knowledge in both the industry and the different departments, so be ready to learn and buckle up!
What was it like being in the program and rotating different departments?
Paul: It’s been great, and it has made the transition from BDR to CSM so much easier. It has made me realize even more just how much I learned as an ATA and how that foundation of knowledge has helped me in my new role. Especially in an ever-changing and extremely intricate industry like Ad tech.
Matt: Realistically, it was fun at times and it was a bit dull at other times. Mostly based on where your personal interests lie. But, I think that overall is best case scenario because you learn about pretty much every department. Knowing what you don’t like/want to do is just as valuable as knowing what you do like. Everyone in every department was super kind though and willing to teach and answer questions.
Sarah: It was really cool to see all the moving parts that make up Freestar. Various people from different departments were so gracious with their time sharing what they do day-to-day and why it is important to the business as a whole. It made it so hard to choose which role I wanted to end up in as I had made so many friendships over the months!
Richard: It was definitely exciting to see the various aspects of Freestar. I think that’s what makes this program great to experience. When you finally get to pick where you want to go, you have the perspective of the different departments, which comes in handy!
What’s your new role?
Paul: I’m now an Associate customer success manager
Matt: Associate Business Intelligence Analyst
Sarah: I am an Associate Publisher Support Manager! Some of my responsibilities include building and implementing ads for our publishers, troubleshooting technical issues, and assisting with onboarding new publishers.
Richard: I am a Data Support Engineer.
How did you decide on your new team/department?
Paul: Being in BD made me realize that I loved interfacing with Publishers but I wanted to be in a slightly more technical role where I have to use the problem solving side of my brain.
Matt: As someone who was interested in more of the backend work (product, data, eng, etc.), the BI team caught my attention when I first learned about it. More than anything my curiosity led me to my new position. The BI team wasn’t on the original department track of the program but, I asked about possibly doing some work with them in addition to what we were doing in the program. Luckily, they said yes and I worked with them a bit for the last few weeks of the program. It just so happened to work in my favor when at the end of the program the BI team had a spot available and I was able to fit right in.
Sarah: I was looking for a position where I could use and continue to learn more technical skills, work with a variety of teams day-to-day, and see something different every day. For me, the perfect fit was the PSM team!
Richard: I chose this path because I truly wanted to understand Freestar’s data, and this role perfectly helps me achieve that.
Lastly, would you recommend this program and why?
Paul: Yes, I would and actually have recommended this role to my friends.
Matt: 100% I would. This program came at a time for me when I was looking to make a rather big shift professionally. The only real requirement is being eager and willing to learn. Freestar took the time to teach us about a whole new industry and be a part of it. Not only that but, the people here are genuinely very kind and patient. The ATA program was overall a really pleasant experience that has given me a great opportunity. Highly recommend.
Sarah: I wholeheartedly recommend this program for anyone who is interested in learning ad tech and is motivated to dive in head first! The ATA program facilitated a new career path for me with 6 months of study with industry experts. Now I get to work from home doing a job I love with friends from all over the world. I would do it a million times over!
Richard: I would definitely recommend this program because it opens doors to the ad tech industry and is a great opportunity for those just starting their careers.
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!