Ever heard of Chi-beria? Me neither. If you ask Rui Li, however, she’d tell you immediately that it’s what Chicago turns into when it’s so cold out you wonder whether you might actually be on the frozen tundra of Siberia.
Before moving to sunny Los Angeles, Rui lived in Chicago for 7 years, a large portion of which was spent indoors avoiding the infamous Chicago winters. Ready to exchange the urban tundra for sprawl and beaches, Rui moved to LA, and since has spent most weekends at the beach enjoying California’s seemingly endless summers.
Rui has been in Los Angeles since December 2014, when she started as an Advertising Traffic Coordinator here at AdColony. According to the head of Ad Ops, she’s been “killin’ it” ever since, and now, as Senior Ad Operations Manager, is trusted to support top tier accounts, such as Machine Zone and Supercell.
Let’s find out how one of the most senior members of the Ad Ops team worked her way up, all while making time for travel and friends. Time to get AdColonized, Rui!
What does an average day look like for you?
I spend most of my time working with the campaign managers (CMs) on the user acquisition side. I work with CMs from the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, and I’ve recently been working with the APAC team more, too. On an average day, they’ll send in any number of requests to set up new campaigns, make optimizations, etc., and it’s my job to handle those requests.
As one of the more senior members on the team, I also spend some time monitoring our team’s work flow. I’ll monitor deadlines, answer questions, and even train new team members.
That’s a pretty full plate! Can you tell us a little about your experiences before joining AdColony, and how they prepared you for your role here?
Before AdColony, I was at a mutual fund company in Chicago. I was in their advertising department working as a CM. I worked primarily on the publishing side, and a little bit on the traffic side. I handled my own accounts there, which helped me better understand how everything works on our website here, and how each campaign is performing. My previous job combined what I do and what a CM does at AdColony, so it really prepared me for what I would be doing, and who I would be working with here.
Sound like you easily slipped right into your role here. Besides the familiarity with the job, what attracted you to AdColony?
The environment and the culture, hands down. I had only worked in corporate environments before this, and when I got hired here it still felt like a startup. Most of the people I work with are my age, and I hang out with coworkers, which I never used to do since I was always one of the youngest.
I was also really interested in the mobile industry. Toward the end of my previous job, we had started to look into mobile advertising, but it was still really new, and we weren’t doing much in it. I wanted to learn more about it, so I decided to look for a job in the industry.
That’s so great! You’re definitely a mobile advertising pro by now. How do you keep growing and learning now that you’re so familiar with your role and the industry?
This job can get a little repetitive since we process similar requests every day. You have to be curious and take a look at what else is around you that you can learn from. For me, that was the tracking side of Ad Ops. I started learning about it early on, and I picked up additional responsibilities tracking campaigns for one of our biggest partners, Machine Zone. I work closely with the CM in San Francisco who is in charge of those campaigns. I ask him questions whenever there’s something I don’t understand, and that’s how I keep learning.
Well, it certainly sounds like you’re enjoying every day here at AdColony. What do you do outside of work that helps you decompress?
I bake when I’m stressed out. I don’t really enjoy eating the things I bake, so I’ll just make them and then bring them into the office. I make a lot of Asian pastries, traditional Chinese pastries that people aren’t even familiar with. I don’t really repeat recipes either, since what I really enjoy is baking new things. I haven’t been baking too much recently, though, but I guess that’s a good sign!
I also try to travel a lot. It’s my way of getting away from everything. I recently just went to Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan – it was so much fun!
You’ll have to tell us all about your trip later, maybe over some delicious Chinese pastries. What about apps? Do you have any favorites?
I use a lot of social media apps to keep in touch with friends and family. I have different apps that I use for different people. For example, I use WeChat to keep in touch with my family and friends in China, and Instagram for my friends here.
I was also really into Pokémon GO when it first came out. I think I’ve collected all the Pokémon from the places I usually go to, so I haven’t been playing as much recently.
We feel you on that Pokémon GO craze. Going a little deeper, is there one thing not many people know about you that you’re willing to share?
(Laughs) I’m a secret Chinese baby. I was born illegally in China since I was the second child. My mom quit her job so no one would find out she was pregnant, and when I was born, my dad had to pay a fine so I would be legal.
It was a running joke with my family while I was growing up, and they joke about it here, too. My team will randomly bring it up: “Well, I’m not a secret Chinese baby like you.” We have a lot of fun with it.
Wow, what a crazy start! That must be quite an ice breaker. Besides the “secret Chinese baby” jokes, do you have a favorite memory with the AdColony team so far?
I don’t really have a single, specific moment, but I do love the people here. I’ve become friends with a lot of coworkers, and they’re special to me because they were also the first friends I made when I moved to LA. They’ll always have a special place in my heart.
Each AdColonized feature shines a light on a different member of the AdColony team. From favorite apps and hobbies to dislikes and odd secrets, we cover it all! Who do you want to see on the next AdColonized? Tweet it to @AdColony. For the latest AdColony mobile news and updates, follow @AdColony on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect on Linkedin.