Amanda Mancuso is a newly-promoted PPC Team Lead; she’s worked at Seer as an Account Manager for several years, starting when we were a company of only 12 employees. She consistently joins teammates on volunteer outings, acted as mentor for our digital marketing interns, played a huge part in helping our leadership team iron out our new titles, and is a long-time lover of Philadelphia.
We recently caught up so that I could learn more about Amanda’s perspective of working at Seer. Continue reading to learn how Amanda got her start in paid search, what made her leave Seer for a short period of time, why she came back, and some of her learning experiences.
Name: Amanda Mancuso
Title: Team Lead, PPC
Education: Bachelors, Marketing - Penn State University
Certifications: Google AdWords Certified
Bing Ads Accredited Professional
Fun Fact: Amanda is an avid November Project participant
I know we know each other, but would you mind sharing a bit about yourself, how you got into paid search, and what brought you to Seer?
I have been working at Seer for about 4.5 years in total on the paid search team. I started my career at a traditional agency that was starting to dabble in paid search, but there wasn't any opportunity for me there -- which is how I ended up at Seer. I started as an Associate when there were only 12 people in the company and pretty quickly moved into the Account Management role. I took a brief hiatus to work at a larger agency but was welcomed back here. I was Philly-born-and-raised, aside from going to college at Penn State, and have lived in the city for about 7 years now. I just love this city; exploring all the different restaurants, pop-up beer gardens...I just really enjoy living in Philly.
So, you have an interesting perspective having worked at Seer, left for a larger company, and then coming back. What brought you back and what do you think that experience taught you?
I think the big difference and the main reason I wanted to come back was that we have a freedom in a sense to test things, try new stuff out, be creative and take risks. With the company I went to, I didn't really have that opportunity. I was feeling kind of stuck and found that we had to be really reserved with what we were doing for clients. While some clients had massive budgets, we couldn’t really do anything with them. I was a bit bored and not challenged.
At Seer, I come into work and every single day is different. There are things I can test and be creative with constantly. Also, just the relationships in general. The atmosphere isn't corporate-like at all. People are friendly and welcoming. I feel like I'm part of a team whereas there I felt like I was just a body. The big lesson learned: I'm glad that I left and had the opportunity to come back. I think it gave me a different perspective and allowed me to appreciate the freedom that we have here, because I don't know what I would have done if I couldn't come back.
What are some things you’ve struggled with during your time at Seer?
For me the biggest struggle is working with so many different personalities, internally and externally with clients, trying to figure out the best way to work with them. In the case of our clients, we have some who don't know much about the industry, others who think they know a lot more than they actually do, and some who know too much. Shifting with the different personalities, learning their style, expectations and communication style is an ongoing challenge.
You were recently promoted - congrats again! How's the transition into a different role going?
I was, thanks! It's been kind of slow. At first I was kind of annoyed about that because I'm really excited and antsy to move completely into that new role and get started. I met with Emma last week (another Team Lead in the SEO division) and she suggested, from her experience, to enjoy the transition and spend this time figuring out what kind of leader I want to be. I’ve been taking her advice and working with some other Team Leads to get a feel for how they manage their team members, what things have worked for them, and what has not. It has definitely been a good learning experience.
Break down your average week at Seer - what kind of stuff are you working on?
From the paid side, I typically start my week by looking at campaign performance for my clients; making sure that nothing crazy happened where there's a major drop off or looking to see if something has done really well. Figuring out where the changes were and what happened.
We'll typically have different analyses and research we have to do for clients. Depending on our priorities for that week (they tend to change very quickly), that usually includes research for an expansion, or if we want to try something new -- like a landing page test or display campaign. If we are already testing things, I’ll check to see what's working or isn't working.
Internally, usually at least one week a month, I am involved with some sort of training. It varies based on when a new person starts, or I may be working with associates to train them on industry updates or tools that will help them in their role.
What are a few of the biggest learning experiences you've had at Seer?
One of the biggest things that I think has helped me grow (maybe I had the benefit of being at Seer when we were smaller) is taking advantage of working with people like Crystal (former head of our PPC division & current President) and Wil (Seer founder)...people with so much knowledge. Learning from them, listening to what they have to say, reading the knowledge shares that they send out to the team. Wil is on SEO and I'm on PPC, but even though we work in different divisions, he has so much experience and has worked with so many different clients. Just reading his updates and seeing the ways to apply his experience to things I'm working on has helped me the most.
People ask me this a lot: what's the collaboration really like at Seer?
I think with any experience here, it's really what you make of it and varies from person to person. It could be you collaborating with an Associate or Account Manager on your project. It could be pinging the entire team in an email thread to get insight on a particular question and just taking advantage of all the brains around you. We have that ability and openness where Seer wants us to interact that way.
We’ve received feedback that folks at Seer have felt overworked and overloaded. Do you have any thoughts on that or personal experience to share?
I definitely have times where I feel overworked, but it's usually because there happens to be a lot going on during that particular period. One thing I can say is that I'm very vocal about it with my Team Lead. If I have two weeks in a row where I'm slammed and working 10 hour days, I let them know so that we can adjust things and make sure that it's not happening consistently. If you don't say anything to someone who can help you, they won’t know that you’re overloaded. I think that's one thing that's probably a struggle for everyone and I think that comes with experience; when I was newer, I tended to work a lot more and avoided talking to anyone if I was struggling.
Folks at all levels are always curious about career progression and opportunity to grow at Seer, can you share your thoughts on that?
I was hoping to get promoted a lot sooner than I was and, at first, I was really frustrated that the opportunity wasn't there for me. The leadership team gave me a lot of feedback and tips on what I could work on; things I could do to advance myself and be ready for that promotion. I took their advice, they noticed it and it helped me to understand and see why I wasn't promoted at the time. I feel a lot more comfortable and ready now for that promotion. I learned to trust the decision and the process and how important it is to listen to that advice while trying to grow.
More and more people are looking at company perks and flexibility when deciding where they want to work. What do you think of Seer's perks; do you have a favorite?
I think the perks are really awesome. Especially coming from the company I was at before I first came to Seer, there weren't really any perks. Aside from my paycheck, there was nothing exciting or cool to talk about. There are so many perks at Seer that a lot of people may not realize you don't get at most companies. For instance, how great our health insurance is - I sound like an old lady - but how little we pay into it makes a huge difference. Obviously, the unlimited paid time off is great, too. The flexibility to work from home, a lot of companies don’t offer that. I think Seer is really great at recognizing people, too. I don't know if that's considered a perk, but FYF's (weekly internal “shout outs” via email to recognize great work by teammates) and thank you cards are small things that go a long way.
What gets you most excited to come to work every day?
I never have days where I dread coming to work. I think it's the whole culture and atmosphere, in general; nobody likes the weekend to end, but even on the bad days, it’s not hard to get through it.
What's the coolest thing you've done lately using Seer's unlimited PTO?
I went to San Diego to visit my brother for his 30th birthday and it was great to be able to get out there and spend time with him and my nephew. I've been mostly taking advantage of our unlimited vacation to take three day weekends here and there; having an extra day to ski in the Poconos during the winter or head down to the shore in the summer is really nice. It makes a world of difference to have time to relax by taking just one day off here and there and not worrying whether or not I have enough days left in the year.