Transformation Series: Stephanie Wayne
By Stephanie Wayne, Sr. Product Manager
I grew up in Bethesda, Maryland before moving to Gainesville, Florida to complete my undergrad and then made my way back up to Yale to complete my MBA. Going from being one of 15,000 at UF to one of 345 at Yale was definitely a culture shock. One thing remained the same at both schools, though – football season took over our entire fall semester. I was in Greek life in Florida but was not super involved. When I went to Yale, however, I decided to change that up. With the Yale/Harvard game coming up, one of the biggest games of the year, I decided to run for Social Chair and won, which then led to me winning MVP of my class. This was just the beginning of letting my personality bleed into my professional life.
When I was deciding what to major in, I leaned more towards fashion but also had an interest in the sciences. I decided that for me, it would be easier to go back to school for fashion later in life than it would be for science. So, I majored in Physics and then switched to Math when I realized how drawn I was to problem solving. After speaking with my advisor who told me my career paths were education and accounting, I attended a career fair where I explored my other options. While I was there, I spoke with some local businesses and asked them if they had anyone using algorithms to help power their businesses. When they had no idea what I was talking about, I definitely felt discouraged.
I was waiting for my friend to finish her rounds at the career fair and decided to stop and speak to one last company. They asked me if I wanted to use my math background to help do analytics for networks like MTV. I immediately answered yes because I loved MTV and ended up spending the next six years there going from an intern my junior year to a full time employee. While there, I was in Data Science for two and a half years and I realized what I liked about my role was being the one who could translate the tech to the client’s needs. I knew I was one of the only Data Scientists who could easily present to clients but I realized there was only one Data Scientist who was allowed to present to clients. So I asked to pivot into Product and It ended up being the perfect combination for all of my talents and interests.
When I joined VideoAmp I started as a Product Manager for our Attribution squad. After six months, the company announced a reorg and that I would be the project manager for two squads. Since then, my team has grown immensely, and so has my workload, but it’s taught me how to Do More with Less and to prioritize my day down to only the most high value tasks. It’s also given me the opportunity to truly become a product expert and owner of my domain at VideoAmp.
I’ve also experienced a lot of personal growth here. Throughout my life, in school or in work, I’d always gotten the feedback to “speak up more.” I liked to be really thoughtful and think through every little thing before saying my piece – I think if you told this to any of my Engineers today, they wouldn’t believe it. VideoAmp moves so fast that if you don’t speak up, it might mean missing a huge bug or something that could add immense value to clients. Since my first day here, my team trusted me to make major decisions and showed such respect that it felt easy to offer input and be myself.
And being myself has brought me so much success at VideoAmp. One of the most exciting accomplishments was getting Lift up and running in the VideoAmp platform. It was the first product I worked on at VideoAmp and led it from the design mock stage, to a Beta trial with three clients across verticals, and finally to GA. It’s a huge competitive differentiator for VideoAmp but more importantly drives value for our clients.
On top of the career growth and achievements, the culture at VideoAmp is such a huge differentiator and one of my favorite things about working here. I know I’ve chosen the right company because I feel gratitude for the co-workers around me on a daily basis. I’m constantly inspired and love that our culture is ingrained in everything that we do. Our shared values make VideoAmp so unique and so rewarding to work for. I can’t wait to see what’s next!