Here at AdPurp, we emphasize fostering a welcoming environment where people feel included, supported, and cared for.
The team member we’re profiling here wears a lot of hats, but one great role he takes on is as one of the people almost everyone comes in contact with – regardless of department they’re joining – towards the beginning of their time onboard.
Vennie is the whiz of all things ‘support’, both internally and externally. Just this week, he’s had the opportunity to take on even more responsibility, now as Director of Technical Support at the agency.
And while we didn’t decide to profile Vennie just because he was promoted, let’s just say it made the pick that much easier.
He’s an absolute pleasure to work with and a team player in the truest sense. It makes sense that he would be, especially given the fact that he’s a family man with a home!
We’ll dive into that and more below. Enjoy!
Q: Vennie, tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? How did your career start?
A: Hello! I was born and raised in Arcadia, Los Angeles to Taiwanese immigrant parents. I did my undergrad and studied Mathematics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After college, I returned to my roots in LA and started tutoring & teaching math to high school students.
Q: What sequence of events led you to AdPurp?
A: To be honest, after teaching for about 6 years, I didn’t see a future in becoming a tenured instructor, so I decided to shift careers and focus my interests in a semi-related field. I enrolled in an online coding boot camp shortly after to learn web development and software engineering. After becoming a certified full-stack web developer, I found a job recommendation from Advertise Purple on LinkedIn that was looking to hire someone with a web development background. From there, I had a great conversation with Kyle and Jonathan, and everything seemed like a great fit from the get-go.
Q: How different was life in the beginning of AP to now?
A: Different, but in a good way! When I first joined the company, there were about 30 other employees over in our 7th street office. Not even two months in, we moved into a bigger office and now our company has expanded its employee count by over 200%. We’ve grown tremendously over the past couple of years, and there’s absolutely no signs of slowing down. With the recent promotion of becoming a Director, my role and responsibility in the company has definitely increased, but the outcome of my work is absolutely rewarding.
Q; How have you managed to cope during this wild year? Any COVID safe trips or fun hobbies?
A: In short, I haven’t. Funny enough, I had plans with my wife to visit Europe for our honeymoon in March, right before COVID became a global issue and every country shutting their borders. We recently took a trip to Chicago last month, and it turns out the mayor issued a stay-at-home order the day of our arrival. Maybe it’s a coincidence, or maybe the world is telling me I shouldn’t be having any fun haha. One great news though, is that we recently adopted a new fur-baby in the process! His name is Melo and he’s honestly the goodest boy in the world.
Q: What was it like purchasing and working on your new home with your wife?
A: Stressful but lots of fun! Not many people know this, but I actually hold a real estate license, so I already have some experience with the home-buying process. Something about seeing your bank account drop to almost nothing after buying a home gives me loads of anxiety. We’ve actually remodeled the interior of our home quite a bit after, so it reflects a more modern look. The whole process took about a year, but I’m very happy how home turned out. Excited to finally host a house-warming party as soon as this (pandemic) is all over.
Q: How stoked are you for your new role?
A: Super stoked! Our support department is starting to expand given the ever-growing number of clients we’re actively managing, so there’s going to be a few changes that we’re implementing that will help keep our department running even smoother. I’m excited to expand my role and responsibilities to further benefit both our internal accounts department and clients alike. We’re excited to share some of those changes soon!
Q: What about affiliate marketing works during a pandemic? How has an agency like AP been able to grow during this tough time?
A: When the pandemic first hit, none of us had an idea of the economic impact we would face as a company. We were told to weather the storm, keep up the grind, and operate as we would normally. As it turned out, the pandemic made more and more people turn to shopping online, and we ended up increasing our client-base by a wide margin! More shoppers online meant more affiliate-influenced sales, and that attracted many online businesses to turn to affiliate marketing. I believe it’s a combination of timing and hiring the right people to manage a portion your business that makes affiliate marketing so successful.
Q: What’s the best part about your job?
A: One of my primary responsibilities is helping resolve internal and client-sided issues so when I’m able to help and fix these issues, everyone is super appreciative of my (and my team’s) efforts. When our clients personally thank us for doing a great job, I think that’s one of the best feel-good moments in our job. That and the amount of dogs we have in our office definitely puts a smile on my face :D.
Q: What’s some advice you have for someone looking to get into a career in technical support?
A: If you’re tech-savvy and love to help people, then I think a career in technical support can be very rewarding. Problems that may be relatively easy for you to fix might not be easy for someone else, and I always keep that in mind when lending a hand. You sometimes have to come up with creative ways to solve a problem, but people will always appreciate the impact and results that you deliver on a daily basis.
Q: Why did you decide to put yourself through the highs and lows of being a Denver Nuggets fan?
A: To put it simply, I believe in the “built-not-bought” philosophy in sports. The Nuggets are a relatively small market team in comparison to other cities, so attracting free agents every year isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. We don’t have the luxury to target and buy the next big free agents every year (like the Lakers do). I think winning is more meaningful when you’re able to assemble a team by scouting, drafting well and focusing on each players individual’s strength to maximize their output as a whole. This year, we are a very deep team and I believe we’ll be in serious contention to win it all #JokicForMVP.
Q: Who do you look up to most?
A: This sounds very cliché, but I really look up to my parents the most. My parents immigrated from Taiwan in their early 30’s looking for a fresh start to the American Dream with nothing but pocket change by their side. They were able to find work at a local small business in Compton, and eventually saved enough money to buy it once the owner retired. Now they’re also at the age of retirement, so I hope to follow their footsteps and be able to provide for them as they did for me growing up. Thanks Mom and Dad!
Thanks so much, Vennie. Really appreciate your time and this profile!