My current position at AdRoll lies at the intersection of technology, data, and consumer behavior. From this vantage point I have had the opportunity to develop an intimate understanding of the internet’s monetization infrastructure, i.e. advertising, and to study the underlying behaviors driving web traffic. The truly interesting part my role is using this massive data-set of behaviors to create actionable insights and strategy that help advertisers programmatically communicate with the right person in the right place at the right time.
Experts generally agree that the digital advertising industry is in its infancy; the technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace as the amount of money invested in online channels grows exponentially. My immediate post-MBA goal is to become a product manager in the digital media/digital advertising space working for an industry leader and continuing to broaden my knowledge working under some of the most well respected leaders in the industry. Longer term, I want to take on a senior leadership position a smaller start-up where I can play a more pronounced role developing a revolutionary product and executing its go-to-market strategy.
Advertising is often viewed as a necessary evil in order to maintain open accessibility of the internet. It doesn’t need to be this way. If done correctly, digital advertising can create an environment of discovery using data models to introduce end-users to products and services that drive value without compromising the online experience. With privacy and misuse of information becoming major concerns, digital advertising needs leaders who are willing to be transparent with their use of data and continue driving the adoption of standards that will both appeal to advertisers and earn the trust of users.
I want to build my knowledge and standing to a point where I can reposition and rebrand the digital advertising space and become an advocate for advertisers and consumers alike. Working for an industry leader as a product manager will provide me with the resources and support to identify strategies that address these problems, while my startup role that follows will be the medium through which I can develop and market a solution.
The common factor in all of my jobs has been the opportunity to make contributions in early- stage, dynamic startups that that were essentially creating new business models. Each of these companies had an organically meritocratic culture and limited resources to hire candidates with very specific skillsets, providing me access to responsibilities that someone fresh out of college would rarely get in a more structured environment.
My experiences creating and managing a Sales Operations team at Bloomspot, executing a product pivot at Crowdcast, and working directly with some of AdRoll’s biggest advertisers to maximize the value of our platform have provided me with a strong foundation for my future career in product management. The next step to achieving this goal is an MBA education from Anderson.
Anderson’s hiring statistics demonstrate a high level of success helping graduates obtain jobs in the Technology sector, particularly in Product Management and Marketing functions. The recent curriculum overhaul to establish more defined tracks for MBA candidates will be instrumental in preparing me for my career post graduation. Required Core classes will teach me to think more critically and help me become a more well-rounded leader, while electives in the Marketing Track such as Product Management and Consumer Behavior will provide me with the advanced skills I will use for the rest of my career.
My sister Irina Fayngersh graduated from Anderson in 2008, and describes her experience as a unique opportunity to apply management concepts in a distinctly team-oriented environment. The vast network she developed, as well as her anecdotes about learning from brilliant classmates, faculty, and industry leaders, further solidified my decision to apply.
Having spent my entire career working in Technology, I have been exposed to a somewhat insulated school of thought. Collaborating with students from a wide range of countries and industries will challenge me to develop new perspectives, set loftier goals, and continue questioning the status quo. I am particularly excited to participate in the AMR program, which will undoubtedly provide me with invaluable practical skills.
In the interest of gaining more international experience, I would likely pursue a Global Pro-Social project to expand my perspective beyond a primarily domestic focus. Finally, as a soon to be newlywed, UCLA’s beautiful Westwood location and emphasis on family life create an ideal environment for my fiancée and I to start our lives together.