From Data Analyst to Managing a Team: How Fostering a Learning Environment Propels Success

Mayla Wang
May 8, 2023
"When you identify something you can improve upon, and take small steps every day, you’ll see a different version of yourself in no time. You’ll be amazed at the transformation and be so proud you took on the challenge!"

Introducing Reyna, our esteemed Manager of Pricing and Optimization who has been integral to our success at adMarketplace in the last 3 and a half years! Occasional artist and full-time cat lover, her all-around commitment continues to show through her curiosity in data, as well as, her unwavering passion for her teammates.

Here’s what she had to say about her growth journey at adMarketplace.

Let’s start with how you progressed to your current role and what your typical day looked like then versus now.

My love for data motivated me to join our Product Team as a Data Analyst in October 2019. Not too long after, I realized that I wanted to have a more direct impact on driving results, so I joined our Pricing Team. As a Data Analyst, I identified trends, and developed scenarios to provide valuable insights to our teams to help optimize performance.

Through this experience, I was able to gain valuable skills for my current role. I still use data daily, but my responsibilities have broadened significantly. My current focus involves developing and constructing models, as well as empowering my team to own their projects.

Can you describe your experience transitioning from an individual role to managing a team?

I luckily had a great mentor to learn from in my time here! I empower my team to take ownership of their work, just like my mentor did. We take pride in what we do, especially when we are given opportunities to lead discussions and meetings and own projects. This encourages us to speak up, fostering a learning environment where everyone can grow together.

In addition, our invaluable manager training series has really helped me hone my listening skills as well as be more efficient in breaking down the different parts of an issue. As a result, I’ve learned to lead meetings with clear focus and intention, while also allowing for a positive environment that truly encourages team collaboration and partnership.

What are some important qualities for someone to thrive as a member of your team?

My goal is to manage a team with curiosity, so to thrive, you must remain curious! We hold team discussions in the beginning of the week where we share perspectives on pressing issues. It is a great way for everyone to learn from one another because there is a good mix of both more junior and more seasoned analysts in the room.  At the end of every week, we have a team knowledge-sharing session where teammates take turns presenting case studies and key learnings from the week.

Naturally, these sessions are transformed into an open forum where everyone freely exchanges ideas. Working with data can sometimes be mundane, but the collaborative nature of our environment makes learning inevitable and exciting!

You previously mentioned a mentor who supported you in developing in your role. How has she helped you?

My previous manager was a great mentor to me. I learned a lot about how to own my projects and proactively seek opportunities for growth. She taught me to face challenges head on and that change is necessary in order to excel.

When you identify something you can improve upon, and take small steps every day, you’ll see a different version of yourself in no time. You’ll be amazed at the transformation and be so proud you took on the challenge!

What do you think sets adMarketplace apart from other environments you’ve worked in?

Definitely the flexibility of growth opportunities. I really appreciate working with a company that cares for my growth. My previous manager and mentor definitely equipped me with the tools and positivity to grow here. The same applies to the team I lead, as we strive for continuous advancement and career growth.

With our continuous education program, I am currently pursuing my second master’s degree in Project Management. This is a significant milestone in my career journey, and I am grateful to have the support and resources to do so.

Speaking of milestones, since we celebrate all kinds of milestones here with lots of dessert, what is your favorite dessert?

Coconut pudding – anything coconut-flavored!

What is something unique about you that few people are aware of?

I am a painter! I started painting when I was 8 years old – it amazed adults how I could sit still for 4 hours at a time, just working away at my guohua [国画 (noun): traditional 20th Century Chinese painting]. I can’t wait till my parents come to visit me and bring my calligraphy brushes!

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