Meet Chelsea, Aarki’s Senior Account Specialist, as she shares her journey towards the adtech industry. With a passion for creating and building, Chelsea loves to find ways how to bring more efficiency, value, and beauty into her life, whether it be inside or outside of work. She shares valuable advice and insights about her role working in Aarki, as well as the importance of knowing yourself and being your own advocate.
Q: How do you like to start your mornings?
Ideally, with a large cup of coffee and plenty of puppy snuggles. In reality, I usually lay in bed for a few breaths in protest of the day starting, continuing to snooze my alarm. I make a massive to-do list the night before, listing out my client calls, team meetings/syncs, and any action items for that day, personal and work-related. If I can ever squeeze in a few more moments of sleepy bliss, I will. When I wake up, I organize my inbox in front of my happy light.
Q: What was the transition like moving from the auction industry to the adtech industry?
I come from a family of auctioneers for 3 generations, primarily working in the agricultural industry. A misconception about auctioneering is that to “sell,” you just talk faster, but it is a profession that requires industry accreditation and lots and lots of practice. I attribute much of what I’ve achieved as a woman in this male-dominated world to my grandfather and Dad who taught me how to succeed in a high-energy, fast-paced and chronically close-to-crisis environment, and still pushed me to keep my cool and make sales happen.
The transition from auction work to adtech was harder than I anticipated, mostly due to changing from an in-person environment to working in a fully remote context. Another learning curve was adjusting to the pace of our work at Aarki. Adtech has required me to slow down, sharpen my strategic side, and think longer than 60 seconds to make that sale.
Q: You have a degree in Clothing & Textiles, Apparel Design from Seattle Pacific University, which is very creative. What learnings from your college experience do you apply in your role as client services?
I loved studying fashion and apparel design at university. I learned how to identify historically accurate costuming as well as how to design clothing. Interesting, but not practical for our current economy or my job prospects at that time. While I was in school, I was a full-time student and a full-time nanny, which was really hard.
"This time in my life, however, showed me the value of practicing balance in one's life, and why it's important to speak up for your needs."
Q: Describe your typical day working in Aarki
Depending on the weekday, my partner and I rush around tending to daily necessities. If there’s time before they head off, we have “first sip,” a 4-year tradition where we have a cup of coffee together and make a little toast to the new day. Cheesy, yes, but also a highlight to my morning.
I’m typically at my desk most of the day, starting at 7/8 am, punctuated by a few W-A-L-Ks with my puppies (I have to spell this out because they know the word and LOSE their MINDS when I say it). In the evening, I make sure to be available for our teammates in other time zones.
Q: Describe your role at Aarki
Acting as a mediator between our clients/partners and our internal team is a large part of my role, and this responsibility manifests itself as sending and receiving a lot of emails. Developing an effective organizational system is key!
Communication is another key element of this role and is not only limited to daily correspondence. Internally, I am our clients’ advocate to the rest of the Aarki team. Externally, I’m the main point of contact for my accounts as well as a representative of Aarki and our services. This means I need to be looped in, approachable, and helpful to bridge both groups, while also advocating for the best interests of our shared campaigns.
I also try to dedicate some time every day to industry research. I’ve realized it’s essential for CS to be highly adaptable. The world of adtech moves quickly, and we must keep up.
Q: What do you do to develop and maintain relationships with clients?
"In my experience, transparency and kindness are the best ways to initiate relationships in any context, but I think this is especially true for industry partnerships."
By regularly sharing insights while also identifying opportunities based on shared goals, I can build a foundation of trust, which often leads to more opportunities for future collaborations.
Q: How do you handle collaboration between internal teams to ensure we meet our clients' campaign objectives?
I am learning that in the world of programmatic, campaign success comes to folks who choose to remain agile, open to collaboration, and pursue partnerships in testing, externally and internally. I do this by keeping track of assigned deadlines, regularly checking in, and initiating conversations across departments, which are often across time zones.
Q: What are the three most important lessons you’ve learned so far being a Senior Account Specialist in Aarki?
- There are a lot of elements to the job that is outside of your control, so control what you can control, and try to have a good attitude while you do it.
- Be your own advocate: for your team, your clients, and partners, but mostly for yourself.
- Everyone’s needs are different, (client to client, teammate to teammate), and being a part of CS means it’s my responsibility to observe, learn, and listen to these needs and adjust my communication and recommendations accordingly.
Q: When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
Much of my time outside of work is dedicated to creating, making, and building various projects as well as cultivating my outside and indoor gardens. Since I was a child I have loved using my hands to figure out the world around me and find ways to bring more efficiency, value, or beauty into my life.
Another fun element to my life right now are my dogs, Griffey and Gertie. My partner and I consider them *like* our kids, (oh, I know, we’re THOSE types of people), and they are a delight. We adopted them both from different local shelters, but they look very similar – color-coordinating in some ways. These two pups Griffey and Gertie are my daily companions and happily complement my workdays with playtime, walks, and plenty of snuggles.
Q: What do you appreciate most about Aarki culture?
"What I appreciate most about Aarki and our culture is that we truly are a global organization that brings folks from everywhere to collaborate and build a world-class product."
I would have never met many of our Aarki team if it had not been for the nature of our work, and the unique structure of our organization. Life over the past two years has cemented my belief that connection and mutual respect are necessary for humanity's survival. In a world where political, societal, and economic disparity continues to deepen, finding opportunities to work together and create something, are special.