The Transformation Series: Kim Smith
by Kim Smith, Senior Manager of Product Marketing
I grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. Growing up, I would spend every summer in Long Branch, New Jersey at my grandparents’ condo. They lived on the beach and had a telescope in their kitchen that looked out to the ocean. I would sit there in the mornings and evenings looking for whales and watching the surfers. It was the most serene and at peace I’ve ever felt, and I dream to have my own place on the beach overlooking the ocean one day.
I’ve always had a connection to the East Coast and knew from a young age that I wanted to move out there when I was older, and when I started applying for college there was only one place I wanted to go: New York.
I was accepted into Syracuse University and studied Nutrition for two semesters, then started to realize my passion for writing. I decided to transfer after my sophomore year to New York University, where I could surround myself with more outlets for creativity. I changed my major multiple times, from Nutrition to Public Health to Communications. While I knew I didn’t want to be a Nutritionist, I loved studying and writing about the history and culture of cuisine, and I had interned at a well known hospitality company. During this time, I was planning events and meeting lots of people in the industry, each with a different story and career path. I then started working for another hospitality group where I planned events for celebrities and institutions like Vogue Magazine, and even got to attend events like New York Fashion Week.
A year after I graduated, I decided to move back to Chicago to continue working as an event planner. I eventually transitioned from the hospitality industry to a design consulting firm where I planned and hosted events for big name clients like Kraft and Nike. While I enjoyed the work I was doing, I wanted to expand my network and push my career further, and an opportunity presented itself at an up and coming company known as WeWork.
While working for WeWork, I made an incredible amount of connections. I hosted events for a large portfolio of clients within various industries, and I found that the most connections I had made were within the adtech industry. I had made my way to the intersection of the physical and digital worlds, and was itching to find a way to incorporate my passion for writing back into my work when an opportunity arose.
I was offered a position at an adtech company where I learned an immense amount about the industry, and it eventually led me to where I am now, on the Product Marketing team at VideoAmp. I truly believe that everything comes full circle, and while I may not have followed a traditional career path, I’ve always followed my passions. In doing so, I was able to form connections, expand my knowledge and acquire skills that would serve me well in the future.
When I started at VideoAmp, we did not have a Product Marketing team. We built everything from the ground up from internal processes and product documentation to developing new solutions and sales collateral, and I couldn’t be more proud of where we are today. I consider the people at VideoAmp my family, and I’ve never felt more at home than I do here. It’s an indescribable feeling when you finally find a place where everyone wants to see you succeed as much as the company itself. Not only do I get to hone in on my writing skills, but I get to learn something new everyday, challenge myself and work with people of all different backgrounds. I’ve grown as an individual along with my role, and I’ve gotten to explore areas I never thought I’d venture into within the realm of data and software. If there are moments where I feel stuck, my colleagues are always there to support and guide me. Those types of relationships are invaluable and I’m incredibly grateful for them.
In addition to growing my career, I’ve also embarked on a personal wellness journey. I’ve never worked for a company that values and promotes health and wellness as much as VideoAmp does, and it has allowed me to set aside more time to disconnect from the digital world. In doing so, I’ve become more introspective and have found ways to soothe my soul through cooking, reading, journaling, going for long walks with my dog and spending more time with friends and family.
It’s impossible to know what the future holds, but I can confidently say that VideoAmp has enabled me to transform into a better version of myself. Life has ups and downs, but every tough decision leads to opportunity, and in the end, we all end up where we’re supposed to be.