How Our Director of Partnerships Builds Them - Both Personally and Professionally
Our Director of Partnerships, Hochi, is quite experienced in just that. He helped build a two person team that communicates on a day-to-day basis with CrossInstall’s valued partners and recently stepped into a manager role. This 5 minute read will share the key tenets of partnerships, what is important to know as an individual on a small team, and tips for juggling a role with a wide range of responsibilities. Partnerships all around! Meet Hochi.
CI: What sparked your move from the Account Management (AM) team to a newly created Partnerships team?
Hochi: There are many different paths that become available to individuals working in ad tech. You can go down the sales or AM route, supply side or demand, product, marketing, creative, or data just to name a few.
I realized that individuals who I looked up to in my career all went down the partnerships path!
Additionally, partnerships can be a bit of an all encompassing term - it can mean sales, integrations, project management, and lots of other things. I was drawn to this team because it allows me to grow as an professional, but also try out a number of different skills which I would not have had the chance to as an AM.
CI: You were CrossInstall’s first Account Manager and then joined a one person Partnerships team. What are the benefits of working on a 2 person team? Why does this working structure suit you?
Hochi: Working on a small team has its ups and downs, and may not be right for some folks. You certainly get the feeling that is it your team against the world, which is fun in a rallying sort of way. A downside to that is that you end up having a hard time drawing the line between where work and life should be separate, because you work as a such a tight knit unit, that can be exhausting.
I prefer the small team experience when compared to being part of a 10 - 30 person squad, mainly because you really know how much you are contributing, and it’s very clear that you are carrying your own weight.
CI: Whether it’s learning to play the piano or becoming comfortable in a new role, how do you learn and pick up quickly on skills?
Hochi: I prefer to dive into tasks and learn along the way, stumbling and hitting bumps is part of the journey.
Though I am still awful at piano, I think my experience in music and other instruments helps me in picking up this new skill.
I try to take a similar approach as a professional, often looking back at prior experiences in work, life, and travel to try and find some relevance to which I can refer.
CrossInstall’s nimble environment welcomes this type of learning as we are a flexible startup that has a lot of great people to learn from and to grow alongside.
For example, I recently took a new role which includes a handful of direct AM reports. I’ll always refer to my experience being an AM as I look to build and develop an AM team which I would have liked to work on.
CI: You’ve been known to have a very distinct style of communication on both sides of the spectrum -- very formal and very colloquial. How did you develop this throughout your professional life and how has it enriched your interactions with clients and internally?
Hochi: Communication is so very important!!
I worked abroad for three and a half years before I joined ad tech which helped hone my communication style as I experienced different cultures.
I’ll always try and envision how the person on the other end will react and intake any sort of communication, being sure you are speaking the same language and tone really seems to help in communicating across teams.
I try to ensure each interaction is open, honest, and relates to others, without changing who I am personally. It is possible to be professional and still use a less formal language style :)
CI: Where can we find you during lunch?
Hochi: I usually try and find a quiet corner of the office and sit down with a book. Life, work, and scheduling can be hectic, so I like to be sure and take some Hochi time to read during lunch.
CI: CrossInstall in one word.
Like Hochi’s interview? We’re hiring for our Ad Ops and Account Management Teams!