“Skills and qualifications” is a common category listed in any job description for candidates to determine if they might qualify for a specific job. For an account manager, exceptional communication skills and prior experience in a client-facing capacity are a couple of items that tend to be necessary to transition into another client management role, but what about the “off the resume” experiences that might come in handy when you land that job? Meet Remus de Jesus, Growth Advertising Account Manager based in Atlanta, who shared what it’s like to work as an account manager at Taboola and how his prior experience as a high school basketball coach has become an important tool he uses to support his clients today.

Coaching at camp for Nike

What similarities do you see between your work as a high school basketball coach and your current role as an account manager in the digital media industry? 

There’s a great culture at Taboola, and I love working with small-medium-sized clients on the Growth team. Reflecting on my coaching experience, it was always essential to establish a culture of camaraderie, support, and tradition amongst my team, and joining Taboola felt like a seamless transition from that. As a former coach, it was important to shift my communication based on a teammate’s personality or style, which has come in handy when working with my clients. Being able to understand my player’s challenges, help them improve, and make them feel comfortable and prepared were things I didn’t previously consider as applicable skills for a corporate job, but in reality, in addition to my prior account management experience, my coaching experience has been relevant to the clients I work with now!

What helped you transition from working on the agency side to the advertising space?

When I attended Taboola U, our CEO, Adam, said something like, “The names of the former companies don’t matter as much as the people and the skills they have,” and I always felt like a good example of that. Transitioning from the agency side to the channel side was definitely interesting. I’ve had to become more of an expert on one particular area rather than being a jack of all trades, but our sales operations team does a great job onboarding new Taboolars and helping the overall team refine skills and knowledge throughout their Taboola careers. We also have a great product team that’s always looking for new solutions, and being on the advertising team here, I see firsthand how much of an emphasis there is to help our advertisers.

Sales club winners 2023!

After about two years at Taboola, I’ve learned so much about different types of businesses, which has been a similar experience to when I coached and needed to study and understand the players, their styles, and behaviors. From brands, affiliates, offer owners, arbitrage, lead generation, and so much in between, before joining Taboola, I didn’t know much about what these words meant. Working with performance marketers, it’s vital to be educated on everything from the product and publisher world to how to set up strong-performing campaigns (just like learning the players.)

How do you make an impact in your role as a Growth Advertising Account Manager?

On the Growth team, I work with small and medium businesses and help people make a living with their hard-earned money. This is different from a company’s advertising budget, where if they have a bad quarter, it might mean less money the next cycle. Even though working with these SMB clients adds a little bit of pressure, especially when working with a performance marketer, it’s so rewarding to know the work I put into my clients can significantly impact their small businesses.

What makes you proud to be a Growth Account Manager at Taboola?

When I meet a client in person, and they tell me no other traffic source takes the time to visit or spend in-person time with them, despite how much business they do, I feel really good about how I show up as a partner to them. It’s nice to hear from clients that on other traffic sources they can’t get an email back, but my SLA is the best!

Post client QBR at Madison Square Garden

I often hear that reps from other traffic sources are less personal and available than we are at Taboola, so it makes me proud to be a part of this team. Taboola sets high expectations for communications, such as our biweekly Toast meetings and team-building events, which helps us show up like this for clients. Those moments of coming together make me feel valued as a person rather than just another employee number.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve learned as a member of the sales team at Taboola? 

My Team Lead, Nietoe Kelson, encourages our team to let our personalities show in our work. I’m thankful to be able to do that without fear and I’m able to bring out the best in myself in my work. My former coaching experience has also helped me learn to keep myself accountable, communicate effectively, and be comfortable to be coached. As somebody who used to lead and teach, I know the value of taking feedback and ownership.

Taboola sales kick off party 2024

Sometimes, it’s a misconception that being in sales is not a team effort. How would you respond to that?

Taboola’s superpower is camaraderie and collaboration! When I was in Las Vegas earlier this year for Affiliate Summit West, I worked with Rhys Conklin, who works with publishers. We collaborated with the client team to educate and encourage them to maximize their efforts on both the advertiser and publisher sides. We had a seamless partnership working with this client despite that being the first time we met in person!

Taboola encourages relationship-building with cross-functional teams and everyone plays their part and recognizes their role in making Taboola work. From sales ops and the creative team to the Grubhub delivery people, there’s a ton of appreciation and support for seeing each other succeed. A bit like the center and forward on the basketball court!

What would you share with someone looking to join Taboola on the Growth team?

The most important thing you can do is to showcase your personality and skills. You don’t have to be the loudest and most vibrant person in the room, but find your unique way of showing your personality. Everybody (clients included) appreciates when they can see your genuineness!

To learn more about why we are consistently ranked as a great place to work, check out the Taboola Life blog and visit our careers page. #TaboolaLife

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