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Betts Spotlight: Sayre Sherrill on Her Betts Experience, and Succeeding in Startups as a Young Professional

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Sayre Sherrill has had quite a journey. She started working on the Business Development team at LiveRamp, an ad tech company, right out of school, and in the years since has evolved into her current role as a Solutions Architect. Every step of the way, LiveRamp has been growing – and Sarye has grown right along with it.

 

We spoke to Sayre about her staying power at LiveRamp, her experience working with Betts Recruiting, and her advice for young professionals entering a career path similar to hers.

 

 

Betts Recruiting: Thanks for joining, Sayre. Can you start off by saying a bit about your current role at LiveRamp?

 

Sayre Sherrill: Of course. So I’m a Solutions Architect – specifically, my job title is Solutions Architect 2 – the second level out of three. I’m on a broader team called the Solutions team that’s divided into Solutions Consultants and Solutions Architects. Solutions Consultants act as the technical counterparts for our Account Management team for potential upsell. And my team, the Solutions Architects, build out custom solutions and do testing pre-contract. 

 

 

BR: Now, you were originally hired for a different role. How did you transition from that first role into your current one? Were there any challenges you faced related to that transition?

 

SS: The original role I was hired into was as a junior Partner Manager on our BD team. The role was along the same lines as a Customer Success role. I was working specifically on a program called Google Store Sales as part of our partnership with Google, and I really loved working on that team.

 

It was pretty small at the time, but I studied computer science in school and I wanted to do something a little more technical. So when our Google Store Sales program was being transitioned into its second version, the lead of the Solutions Architect team actually approached me and said, “I think you would be a great fit for the team.” I think it was just sort of a natural transition that happened really easily, especially since the product I was working on was transitioning and the SA team was growing out really quickly. So at the time I was one of four team members and now we have upwards of 20.

 

I guess part of it was luck and part of it was that I made it clear that I was interested in doing something technical.

 

 

BR: I’m sure it wasn’t luck! It sounds like you were doing something right and made yourself stand out. 

 

SS: Thanks! I’d like to think so.

 

 

BR: So you’ve been at LiveRamp for over three years now. What do you attribute that longevity to? Is it a great culture fit, a good match for your career goals, or something along those lines? What would you say makes you and LiveRamp a good fit for one another?

 

SS: There are a few things. I started working at 21, and so I was in a phase of my career where I was quickly transitioning and trying to explore a lot of things. And it seemed that LiveRamp was sort of growing along with me at the same pace. I think I was employee number 205, and now we have upwards of a thousand employees and are our own standalone, publicly traded company. 

 

So it almost feels like I’ve been working at a few different companies because the culture and process and our goals change so much as we grow. That’s one of the reasons why startups are such a great place for people earlier in their careers. You get a lot of different types of companies in one, because it’s growing so fast. We’ve increased 5X. We now have offices in I think eight or 10 different cities and we’ve acquired five companies in the time that I’ve been here. So, lots of change. 

 

Another reason is that it was a company of really young people who were sort of willing to take a chance on other young people wanting to try out different roles. We have a lot of really young PMs, and I credit our former head of SA with sort of pulling me onto his team, without being prompted, just because he thought I had potential. And I think that’s a huge boon to have a culture that tries to recognize that and present people with opportunities. So that was definitely a reason that I have stuck around as long as I have.

That’s one of the reasons why startups are such a great place for people earlier in their careers. You get a lot of different types of companies in one, because it’s growing so fast.

Sayre Sherrill, Solutions Architect, LiveRamp

 

BR: Clearly you’ve been very successful at LiveRamp. What would you say are some kind of keys to success for people who do what you do? What would you say to a younger person getting into the same kind of career path that you’ve had or maybe working at the same kind of company that you’ve had?

 

SS: I think it’s really cool to start out working at a startup in your younger years. I think when you’re sort of scrappy or less risk-averse, and sort of excited by people trying to build something out of nothing, that’s really an exciting environment to be in when you’re a little younger and willing to deal with less stability.

 

I think specifically for Solutions Architects and Sales Engineers, my opinion is that it’s a great role to get into early on because you exist in this middle ground between Product and Sales. So I feel like I’ve gotten insight into two sort of opposing worlds, which often don’t have insight into one another. And figuring out how to translate something Product says into something Sales conveys to a client or partner – that’s valuable no matter which direction you want to go into.

 

I mean, truly, that’s a skillset, and a great potential springboard into a whole set of career paths, which is great to have when you’re young and figuring yourself out professionally. You could go into Product Marketing after that, you could go into Recruiting. I think often recruiters need to have a little bit of technical understanding of the position that they’re hiring for. So having that skill, I think, is sort of invaluable.

Figuring out how to translate something Product says into something Sales conveys to a client or partner – that’s valuable no matter which direction you want to go into.

Sayre Sherrill, Solutions Architect, LiveRamp

BR: How did you originally come into contact with Betts Recruiting? What your goals were at the time?

 

SS: Well, I had an internship at New Relic when I was going into my third and final year at Berkeley. And my former boss at New Relic knew Leslie and connected me with her. Leslie and I spoke a few times about different opportunities that she had. And she just did such a great job of prepping me for each interview. I mean, she would sort of tell me who I would be talking to and what questions they tend to ask. She hit the nail on the head with every single interview I went into in terms of what I needed to prep, and who I needed to speak with, and what each person’s focus would be. So I think I really only did like two full interview processes with her, one of which was at LiveRamp, and I got offers from both places.

 

And actually, the first offer I got wasn’t from LiveRamp – it was from the other place. I was sort of apprehensive, I think, because someone had told me, “Oh, your recruiter is going to want you to just take the first offer.” But when I called Leslie and told her that I wanted to say no so that I could wait to hear from LiveRamp, she was totally supportive. She said “Yeah, you should wait. I think they like you and I think you’d like that role better.” And then literally the day of my graduation I got an offer from LiveRamp. So I was pretty excited about that.

[Leslie] hit the nail on the head with every single interview I went into in terms of what I needed to prep, and who I needed to speak with, and what each person’s focus would be.

Sayre Sherrill, Solutions Architect, LiveRamp

BR: One more question: What does your path forward look like from here? What are your career plans moving forward?

 

SS: Within a year of my joining LiveRamp, ad tech and privacy was launched in a huge way into the public eye and the public stage in the form of GDPR and CCPA, which is this California law around privacy, as well as by some high-profile privacy scandals that happened around that time.

 

So I think I’ve been really lucky and I probably will spend my career in the advertising technology space. It’s very much here to stay, and I think it’s sort of an interesting ethical problem for the modern person to think through. I would definitely at some point like to see what things are like from the brand side, but I don’t have any plans to leave just yet.

 

 

BR: Sounds like you’ve got good things ahead. Thanks so much for chatting today, Sayre.
SS: Thank you!

 

Enjoy this interview? Check out our other Betts Spotlight posts.

The Betts team wants nothing more than to help every aspiring professional to find their dream job in sales, marketing or people operations. Besides that we eat a lot of cookies.