The Women of Mediaura Series: Amy Aebersold

Meet our Chief Operating Officer, Amy Aebersold

Our COO Amy Aebersold was brought up on a horse farm, which was both a hobby and a business for her family. Growing up outside of the city, she took to technology by online gaming and interacting with people in the gaming community. Her love of reading and researching shaped her psyche to “think in Google” since she was exposed to computers early on. When she has time away from her COO duties, Amy writes for a monthly Chicago magazine about one of her biggest passions: food.

“Women play such a large role in technology that I rarely stop to separate my thoughts or practices into male or female.”

Explain your role at Mediaura…

AA: When our CEO Andrew and I first met, we both realized we had complementary skills. His tech genius and my interpersonal skills worked well together. He had been toying with starting his own business and I was working for an advertising agency. With my guidance, we delved into opening our own company. Both of our parents ran businesses together, so this came very naturally to us. We went ‘shopping’ for our first office space, which we outgrew almost immediately, ordered our business cards, and took the plunge. My immediate role was one of advice and counsel. And that is still my main role today – from whom we hire, to the clients we work with, to how we present ourselves as a company and what direction our work takes. Andrew jokes and says that I AM the Board of Directors. He’s right. While I’m not always seen in the forefront like he is, there’s little that happens within the business that hasn’t had my input.

Why did you get into digital advertising and what steps did you take to get here?

AA: Originally, I planned on being the next Diane Sawyer. I obtained a college scholarship and internship and started on that journey, but then my life changed. I realized my passion didn’t take into account the reality of spending my days talking about the bad things happening in the world on a daily basis, though the journalism and communication classes have served me well in business.

What challenges have you faced in this industry?

AA: The original challenges were how to find the right fit for our company’s skills, how to market that, who to hire, and how to not be judged for our age as a business. Growing the company at the proper pace, without going into debt, was also a challenge.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

AA: I absolutely love learning new things and this business is ever-changing, so that appeals to me. I enjoy our ability to increase our staff and improve their lives. Creating new technology and improving our clients’ lives also brings me happiness. It truly is a limitless opportunity.

What advice would you give other women who want to pursue this field?

AA: My advice is to find what brings you happiness and pursue that in the direction you want it to go. I’ve never been told I can’t do something because I was female and my parents never implied that in any way, shape or form. Clearly, that’s carried over, based on how many women are working here now.

What are your goals for your future in this field?

AA: I want us to be able to branch out and develop more things we want to create. So often we spend our time just on clients, but there are so many brilliant people working with us. I look forward to the day we can split our resources and start working on our mad scientist ideas.

How do you feel being a woman has affected you in the advertising industry?

AA: I really struggle with this concept. The biggest part of this would be by being underestimated. Women play such a large role in technology that I rarely stop to separate my thoughts or practices into male or female. I think this industry is very unisex. Some people may have misconceptions concerning that, however, I see females as invaluable in advertising.

Who are your role models?

AA: My current role model is, without a doubt, Malala Yousafzai. She’s the epitome of a strong female that is using media as a platform to stand up for her rights and education. I’m not sure it gets any better than that.

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