Spotlight On: Gina Miele
Name: Gina Miele
Title: Program Manager
Joined Mediaocean: 2011
College: The College of New Jersey
Tell us about your journey. Why advertising and technology?
To be honest, I was a Communications Studies major in college, with minors in Marketing and Spanish – with no idea what I wanted my career path to be. I always had an interest in the media – and landed two great internships at MSNBC and Fox – but wasn’t sure if I wanted to take the plunge into the breakneck, cutthroat news outlet industry. Fortunately for me, that decision became pretty easy when I graduated into the post-stock-market-crash hiring freeze of 2009 – and job opportunities were slim to none, especially at the very competitive television networks where I interned. (Glass half full, right?) This led me straight into the arms of the industry that is always hiring – Sales! I worked as a sales rep for Dish Network for about a year and a half before realizing that – although Sales is challenging and lucrative (and I was actually pretty good at it) – it wasn’t where I wanted to stay forever. And as luck would have it, MediaBank offered me a Project Coordinator position to help onboard their new client, IPG.
Five years later, I really love working in advertising technology, and I think it’s a great place to be. It’s an industry that’s progressive, growing, and arches over so many disciplines. And no matter how good we’ve all gotten at commercial-skipping with our DVRs, advertising makes the world go round – and it isn’t going anywhere.
What are a few of your strengths and passions? How has working at Mediaocean enabled you to flex some of these muscles?
I’m a natural-born problem-solver and a perfectionist (to a fault) – so even though I didn’t plan to end up as a Program Manager, it’s actually a really great fit for me. I love organizing the pieces of a project, working with the experts who know how each of the pieces work, and helping to manage it through to success. It’s literally like putting a puzzle together – with the help of some of the smartest people I’ve ever met. Also, for someone who has always loved the media industry, it’s pretty cool to know that I work for a company that sits at the heart of it.
In what ways has working at Mediaocean challenged you and enabled you to grow?
During my time at Mediaocean, I’ve held three different positions, each with an increasing number of challenges, learning experiences, and growth opportunities. I’ve been fortunate enough to gain exposure to a large subset of our clients and partners – from the buy-side, to the sell-side, to the really-cool-technology-side – and it’s given me a really interesting purview into the advertising ecosystem as a whole. It’s also both humbling and fascinating to know that there are a huge number of companies that exist in the ad tech space. Every new project I’ve worked on has nudged me more and more out of my comfort zone, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the knowledge and experience.
What do you enjoy most about working at Mediaocean?
What I love most about this industry (and our company specifically) is that it’s the perfect intersection of hip and nerdy. Advertising is all about glamour and appeal, and software is all about nuts and bolts – and we happen to work somewhere that sits right in the middle of that surprisingly complex Venn diagram. And since I often have trouble deciding whether I’m hip or nerdy, it feels like the perfect place to be :)
Where do you see yourself in 10 years and what role does Mediaocean play in helping you get there?
Before working here, I hadn’t even thought about Project Management as a career option – and now I’m working on getting my PMP certification, and truly making the most of it. Without Mediaocean, I never would have realized that it’s such a good fit for me. Project managers exist at nearly every major corporation, so I guess time will tell where the next ten years take me.
What’s your favorite employee perk at Mediaocean?
Manicube! It’s so convenient and I would never devote time to getting a manicure otherwise. Also, I love the fruit-garnish water station. I’ve never been more hydrated in my life.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee! Tea doesn’t quite give me the “flight of the bumblebees” feeling I need to start my day.
Cats or dogs?
I’ve only ever owned a cat, but I love dogs all the same. They’re too cute and funny in their own ways to decide.
Give 3 tips for someone looking to land a job like yours.
- Be proactive. Don’t ever expect anything to be handed to you.
- Be yourself. Figure out what drives you and what you’re good at; then figure out how to parlay that into a career.
- Do your homework. Research the companies in the field that you’re interested in, and if you do get an interview – ask good questions and show them why you’re the best candidate for them. The questions you ask are sometimes more important than the answers you give.
What are your favorite websites that you can be found browsing during lunch?
I’ve been trying to get better at cooking, and I really like the recipes on "Buzzfeed Food" – so I’ve been into that lately. Admittedly, I’m no stranger to the regular, silly section of Buzzfeed.com either.
If you were stranded out at sea and could only have 3 things, what would they be?
This is a tough one. I’m going to say a water purifier (to make the sea water drinkable), a fishing pole, and a buddy who has much better survival skills than I do. The extent of my knowledge stems from watching too many episodes of "Naked and Afraid."
What’s your favorite TV show?
I really love "The Walking Dead," "Game of Thrones," and "Girls." I’ve also just started binge-watching "Orange is the New Black," and I’m completely hooked.
If your life were made into a movie, who would play you and why?
I once got mistaken for Lady Gaga on the street (no joke; it was really quick, and the guy immediately realized his error), and she has recently forayed into acting – so I’ll go with her. Although I doubt she’d agree to the role, since I have significantly less of a penchant for singing and crazy outfits.