Transformation Series: Tom Sinram
By Tom Sinram, Sr. Dir, Onboarding & Coaching
I grew up in a small suburb called Bay Village outside Cleveland and like many kids I grew up with, went on to become an Ohio University alumni. Go Bobcats! In school, I studied healthcare and started to focus on the field of gerontology. Gerontology is the study of old age and aging, which might seem a little morbid but it actually changed my perspective on aging and death. Instead of something to be feared, it’s a motivator to be grateful for the time you do have and get as much done as possible.
As soon as I graduated, I moved in with some friends who had landed in Chicago and started realizing that healthcare might not be the right path for me. Right as I was going to accept a staffing job at a healthcare company, I was offered a temp position in advertising at FX. This was around the time It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia premiered and I had to take this opportunity. While this smash hit was premiering, the market crashed and all the temps FX had hired were let go. Thankfully, at the exact same moment I was interviewing for a job at Turner and was lucky enough to be able to accept the position there. Timing is everything!
I continued to work in advertising at various companies before an acquisition moved me into a sales role. I used this role, my history in advertising and my degree in education to transform into a sales trainer. I knew I wanted to use my education degree but also knew being a school teacher wasn’t the right fit for me, and this new position was the perfect balance.
I eventually found my way to New York to work for a music streaming company. I felt like a jack of all trades in that role. I did anything from getting food for executives, to running sales training, to executing B2B experiences. Initially,I had no plans to ever leave the company since it was a good brand and culture, but an external recruiter that I had worked with in the past reached out for VideoAmp and said I’d be a perfect fit for the environment. The roles and responsibilities spoke to me because it spoke to what I liked and what I was inspired by. My dream opportunity is to cultivate people, coach people, understand where they are coming from. Since I’ve experienced sellers’ challenges first hand, I am able to relate to the struggles of the sales field and turn those into teachable moments.
Since accepting the role at VideoAmp, it has changed tremendously. When I first came on, I felt I was looking through a sales training lens and then realized my role could be organizational and cross functional. Initially, I was just supporting the buy-side teams but have now expanded into helping the sell-side as this part of our business continues to grow exponentially.
One of my proudest moments from my time here is the creation of VIP EX – our in-person onboarding program for new hires. What has been great is seeing that start from zero to planning our sixth this coming September, with each one getting bigger and bigger. The latest one had 42 people. I have met so many amazing people through this program and love that we fly everyone out to HQ so that we don’t lose the in-person connections that are often lost in our now mostly virtual world. During our latest VIPEX we had a workout session with renowned author and motivational speaker Leif Babin, and to my left was our CEO, Ross McCray, and to my right was our President Michael Parkes. It is so rare to get the opportunity to even speak with the executives of a company never mind work out next to them. That’s something I love about VideoAmp and sets the company apart from others – the transparency and accessibility to leadership. Seeing openness and vulnerability from executives shows us that they lead by example which is so important.
I joined VideoAmp because the role fit with my experience, the culture sounded right and I felt like I could make a difference. I’m so happy that all of that played out as I expected. It’s also such a pivotal time in the industry and we are tackling huge issues and breaking barriers on a daily basis. I look forward to our company’s continued success and seeing us write one of the coolest stories in advertising history