Meet Marina Juncaj, Amobee’s Director of Account Management. A Michigan native and a Chicago transplant, Marina is passionate about mentoring and seeing her team succeed, building meaningful relationships and solving complex problems. While working from home, Marina enjoys indulging in literature, tuning into true crime podcasts, and baking all sorts of goodies. Learn more about Marina, her favorite moment with the team so far and her advice to being your biggest advocate in this month’s employee spotlight.
What exactly does a Director of Account Management do? What’s an average day like for you?
I currently manage the Enterprise Account Management Team at Amobee. Small but mighty team working on large pieces of business. I don’t have a set schedule each day, but it’s usually meeting heavy. It’s a mix of internal, external, and 1:1’s with my team as well as the leadership team. I focus on the development of my team; giving them the tools they need to be successful, making sure that we not only retain but also grow our business, and work alongside my counterparts on creating efficiencies for the team. No day is the same, but that is what keeps it exciting.
Can you tell us more about your experience and how you got to where you are now?
My very first internship was in Market Research, and I enjoyed it but realized it wasn’t for me long term. I love the music and entertainment industry, so I eventually ended up in New York for an internship at VH1. I learned so much about myself and the industry, and it was all really eye opening. I knew I wanted to live in a city after that so I moved from Michigan to Chicago. I slowly made my way into the Lead Gen/Digital space and into the Client Services function. I started off as a Senior Account Manager and knew right away this is where I wanted to be. I knew I would continue to grow at Amobee and work my way into the leadership role — with a lot of coaching from my mentors and leaders. I moved into a Team Lead role, then Manager, Senior Manager, and now Director. I thrive on working with my team and getting them to where they want to be in their careers. I kept the conversations open with my leaders (yes, even all the way up to the CEO) on where I saw myself and what it would take to get there.
What makes Amobee the right fit for you?
Career wise, I’m given the opportunity to carve out my own path, grow and develop my team. My leadership trusts that I’m going to do what is best for the company and the team to get us in the right place. I’ve been able to help guide members of my team into different roles at Amobee which is fulfilling seeing them continue to grow year after year.
At Amobee we value employee development, how do you keep growing and learning in what you do?
Every day is a new day with new opportunities (and also some challenges). I can honestly say that I learn something new every day. I work on complex pieces of business that have a lot of moving parts, so there is always something new going on. I really like to have an understanding of each task my team takes on. It helps me learn what else we can do to be efficient, and how we can replicate success across the board.
What stands out to you about Amobee’s culture and the working environment?
The culture at Amobee is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It truly is like a family, and I don’t mean that in a cheesy way either. We’re one big, dysfunctional family. I’ve met some of the most amazing and important people in my life at Amobee. My closest group of girlfriends are all original Amobee members. At Amobee, we have a work hard – play hard team mentality. Everyone is so willing to jump in and help regardless of their piece of business or role.
What is your favorite moment you’ve had with the team so far?
I wanted to originally call out one of our amazing events we hosted back in the day. Everyone would want to fly into Chicago from another office to be able to attend one of our Lolla after parties or even quarterly client events. Impromptu happy hours at Green Door Tavern are a must. It’s one of those things where someone will just stand up in the middle of the office and shout “GDT?!” and 10 of us would head over after work. It doesn’t matter what team you’re on, everyone is always invited. Covid made a lot of that hard this last year, so the fact that we were all able to get together virtually for a holiday secret santa gift exchange was amazing. We timed out all the shipping so that we could unwrap presents with one another at the same time. It made it feel like we were in the office.
Many global Amobee employees are still working from home. Do you have any work-from-home tips you can share?
Set boundaries! The first few months were so hard because it was so easy to just sign on at any point and then before you know it, you’re working until 10pm because your laptop is just there. I had to start blocking off my calendar to remind myself to take lunch or go to the gym after work. Another rule I have: no talking about work after shutting down for the day.
What are you listening to lately (music, podcasts, etc.)?
I never got into podcasts until about a year and a half ago. I’m into true crime, so I listen to My Favorite Murder daily; I started with episode 1 and refused to skip ahead. The hosts of the show are like an extended part of my family (even though we’ve never met and they have no idea I exist.) I also start my day off with Radio Headspace and Wake Up/Wind Down which I highly recommend for some good vibes. Music – I listen to any genre throughout the day, even country on a good day. As I find new songs, I add them to a playlist and then put that on rotation on a daily basis. I’m always looking for new artists, so feel free to send any recommendations my way!
Have you picked up any new hobbies during quarantine?
Not a new hobby but I did challenge myself to read 2 books a month during quarantine. I eventually ran out of room on my bookshelf. Baking and cooking is a big stress reliever for me, so if anyone needs a good cookie or banana bread recipe – I’m your girl! I grew up in a household with a home cooked meal every night and always something sweet after dinner, so I’ve basically become my mother during quarantine.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
It’s something my first manager at Amobee told me when I started to get way too flustered. Control what you can control. It’s way easier said than done, and I still need to remind myself of it sometimes. Whether it is your personal or professional life, there is always going to be something that is out of your control. This last year was one of the hardest for me because so much going on in the world was out of my control. All we can do is remain true to ourselves and let the rest solve itself.
Any final remarks you’d like to share?
Be your biggest advocate. We often find ourselves cheering others on and then being extremely hard on ourselves. Be more confident in yourself and your ability to accomplish what you want in life — personally and professionally. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone starts somewhere.
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