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AdColonized: Getting to Know Sherry Bullen

Posted Apr 9, 2020

Meet Sherry Bullen, one of our Revenue Managers who works from her home office in Florida, USA. Sherry has been with AdColony since 2008, making her an excellent source of institutional knowledge for her team. Sherry is a fitness instructor, loves a good game of trivia, and visits Disney World when she can. Get to know Sherry better in this week’s AdColonized!

What exactly does a Revenue Manager do at AdColony? What’s an average day like for you?

As a revenue manager, I am responsible for recording revenue and costs associated with our advertising business in our APAC division. There is a lot of data fetching from various sources, with analysis following. I monitor financials to make sure we capture everything, as well as issue invoices to our customers. I spend 99% of my time in spreadsheets and emails. You’ve got to love Excel to be in finance! It might sound boring, but for me, math is very satisfying. Nerd alert!

Tell us a little about your experiences prior to joining AdColony and how they have prepared you for your role here.

Prior to AdColony, I was a manager at the largest (at the time) subprime mortgage servicer in the country; my department processed loan payments, chargebacks, payoffs, that sort of thing. Come to think of it, I’m a pretty loyal employee… I worked at that mortgage servicer during and following grad school right up until joining Opera Software/AdColony, where I am today! Pretty wild, right?  It is strange because I did not go to school for Finance (bachelors in journalism and masters in education)–I just kind of fell into the number-crunching world. I love it, though. Spreadsheets are my happy place.

What makes AdColony the right fit for you?

I started in the Oslo, Norway office in 2008 and have met a ton of people during my tenure. Odds are, if you’re looking for someone or something, I know who you should talk to. The familiarity is something I find delightful. There is something to be said about working for an employer for a long time. I also love AdColony because everyone here is so dedicated to excellence. It’s never a hard sell to colleagues when we are working together to improve things for the greater good of the organization. That’s not a given everywhere, you know. And finally, I love that our employees are spread across the globe. I work closely with our teams in Asia, which I think is such a valuable experience for any person to have. It is pretty great to have a daily reminder that the world goes way beyond your personal bubble.

AdColony values employee development. How do you keep growing and learning in what you do?

While I don’t spend a lot of time in formal trainings (not Finance-related, anyway), I ask a lot of questions, read a lot of books, and try to take the time to truly understand things. My brain just does not compute well without having a deep understanding of something. The way I see it, growth and learning are mindsets. I love to learn about everything I can and finding the answer to “How do I  _____?” I think it boils down to what kind of person you are at your core. Are you curious and willing to learn the “why” behind something? Or do you want to just swat a problem away? I’ve taught myself so many things, from photography, to web design, to very niche software applications, to crazy complex Excel formulas. Learning is just something I am passionate about.

How do you act as a resource for the rest of your team?

Good question! I’m sure they will tell you I am an honorary IT person. I’m pretty good with computers, technology, and making electronics start or stop doing “that thing.” I am also an Excel wizard–have I mentioned Excel yet???–second only to my husband, Thomas, so I help in that realm when someone needs a spreadsheet to do some heavy lifting. I’m a makeup expert as well, apparently. Hahaha. Finally, see above about having been with the company since 2008–I know where to point you to!

Is there someone you turn to personally or professionally?

Most often I turn to my husband, Thomas Bullen, of course! He is the smartest person I know, so his opinion on virtually anything is pretty valuable to me. I also turn to Tristine Jew fairly often. She and I have talked each other down off some ledges! 

As someone who regularly works from home, what tips or tricks can you share that have helped you work from home successfully?

You of course want to enjoy the advantages of working from home, like taking a laundry-folding break instead of a coffee chat break, but you also want to keep as close to an office routine as possible, otherwise you will feel like you are burning the candle at both ends.

First things first, get out of your pajamas in the morning! (I still occasionally fail at this. Ahem.) Second, get serious about your workspace. You can do work sitting on the couch with Netflix droning in the background, but doing that surreptitiously saps your energy. Have a dedicated, reasonably uncluttered spot to work, either a desk or table where you have your “work gear.” Get yourself the nice pens! Make sure the lighting is good; get a desk lamp if you need to. All these little things will help you get real work done instead of spinning in multitasking overload.

Third, set up some time boundaries. It’s strange, but sometimes working from home means you actually wind up working more hours than you would if you were in the office because technically you never “leave work.” And this is where having a dedicated workspace comes in again as well—you need to be able to walk away from it. It’s a little tougher with things shut down now, but my last piece of advice is treat yourself to a lunch out (or delivered) once a week or every other week. Sure, eating homemade is great, but trust me on this. Buy that lunch!

What are your hobbies or activities that you look forward to doing on the weekends or after work?

I am a group fitness instructor, so when I’m not at my desk, the gym is most likely where I am. I teach boot camp and several Les Mills classes: BodyPump, CXWorx, and soon, BodyCombat. In terms of hobbies, it doesn’t get more rewarding than helping other people feel good about themselves and their abilities. I also enjoy going to Disney World, reading, bingeing Netflix, going to festivals (any kind!), and chilling with the family. My kids get more hilarious every day!

Which app is keeping you engaged lately? Why?

Canva and Over. I do a lot of promotional material for the gyms I teach at, and those apps make your creations look like a professional graphic designer made them. Also, my well-curated Twitter follow list provides hours of entertainment for me.

Tell us one or two fun facts about you.

I am a formidable foe when it comes to trivia. My high game in bowling is 286.

What is your favorite moment you’ve had with the AdColony team so far?

Literally any team building event we have done. They are consistently epic.

What are you listening to lately (music, podcasts, etc.)?

I love my SiriusXM subscription. Channels in heavy rotation for me are 80s on 8, Alt Nation, Lithium, 1st Wave, Netflix is a Joke, and Yacht Rock.

What are you looking forward to most in the next 5 years?

Watching my kids grow up and traveling the world! 

About AdColonized
Each AdColonized feature shines a light on a different member of the AdColony team. From favorite apps and hobbies to fun facts, 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.

Ellen Plant
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