Transformation Series: Trevor van Dyk

by Trevor van Dyk, Senior Campaign Optimization Manager

To kick this off right, let’s throw it all the way back to where I grew up. I’m from a small-ish beach town called Santa Cruz, in northern California. This small fact tends to be a defining factor of who I am as a person, and a lot of it has to do with the surrounding area. Santa Cruz isn’t just a beach town – it’s also very forest-heavy, with plenty of redwoods and wooded areas to explore. As a whole, it’s a place that promotes fun and exciting outdoor activities. With that, it should come as no surprise that my interests include “sports and games and stuff” which is my way of saying that on any given day, I’d love to be doing some sort of activity or playing a sport or game. If that happens outdoors, I’m all the more happy.

As for some milestones in my life, I ventured roughly four hours north for college at CSU Chico. As a classic confused college kid trying to figure out their life, I originally wanted to focus on a civil engineering degree, thinking it would be a close alternative to architecture for someone like me with no artistic ability. It took me a couple years to figure out that was not quite the case, and I then pivoted to a more broadly-focused business degree.

Shortly after graduating, I took a leap of faith and moved out to the east coast (New York) to experience something outside of the world of Northern California. It was there that I stumbled on what is now my career in digital media.

Before starting in advertising, I actually had no idea the industry had such a large variety of roles. As one does, I thought all advertising related jobs could be found in an episode of Mad Men. However, it didn’t take long to start exploring the world of media, with my intro being working as a Sales Development Representative for a startup that produced content marketing materials through a network of freelance designers.

From there, I pivoted out of sales and into an analyst job at a social-forward advertising agency. “How did this come about?” you might be wondering. In classic NYC fashion, it all started with me moving in with a random guy from Craigslist. As sketchy as that sounds, this roommate told me about a role he thought I might like in digital advertising. Fast forward five-ish years, I’m still friends with that random dude and the job provided the perfect segway into the world of ad-ops and programmatic ad buying that I live in today.

During my time at that agency, I got to wear a ton of different hats, one of which gave me the opportunity to work with VideoAmp as a client (pretty sure I was an annoying client with how many tags I provided per campaign, but to this day, everyone’s been really nice about it). Working with VideoAmp opened my eyes to an even larger world of adtech that I was excited to explore.

Before VideoAmp, my career aspirations were limited to “I want a career and it would be ideal if I was good at it.” But VideoAmp has given me a chance to build on that vague concept and hone in on a path that works best for me. Since day one, they have focused on promoting not only my success in the world of adtech, but also my success as a human in general. This has allowed me to harness the ideals of one company value in particular: Embrace Wellness. Simply offering a stipend for a gym membership is nice, but VideoAmp takes it a step further and normalizes actually taking the time to work on mental and physical health. It’s helped me work on myself, which in turn has increased my drive to work on my career. Although the foundation of my role hasn’t transformed during my tenure here, my overall mentality has shifted. I now come in every day (i.e. walk down the hall from my bedroom to my “office” a.k.a kitchen) and actually feel like I’m taking a step forward on a path that just so happens to be leading in exactly the right direction.