Class of 2012 alumnus Walter Davis Jr. finds the world of advertising and its influence intriguing as he works as an account director in the Partnership Sales sector at Xandr (Microsoft) in New York City.
In his role, Walter collaborates with clientele spanning across the retail, media, gaming, and financial industries to expand their programmatic advertising business utilizing the full suite of the advertising ecosystem. His responsibilities include client calls to evaluate current and future strategies, such as aligning on specific marketing metrics and key performance indicators (KPI) or assessing how to grow certain revenue streams, troubleshooting live ad campaigns, pitching upcoming products, analyzing campaign data, and answering questions regarding the programmatic industry itself.
Walter graduated from Wesleyan University in 2016 with a degree in sociology. He previously worked in sports technology, but ultimately decided he wanted to pursue something different. He said it was important that he be challenged and have the ability to learn within a job. Xandr gave him the opportunity to grow and be part of an industry that fascinated him.
“I was drawn towards the advertising/marketing field because it’s something that encompasses our daily lives,” said Walter. “We have advertisements in our face almost every minute of every day and we don’t really know how, why, or where they come from. The programmatic sector of advertising was particularly intriguing to me because not only was I clueless about it, but I knew it’d give me some insight to these questions.”
With the career change, Walter noted that he is excited to be part of an industry that is ever- evolving and with the variety of clients no day is the same as the last, which was exactly what he was looking for. He credits Hamden Hall and emphasized how the school prepared him well for college and beyond as he was always challenged to find a way to balance a rigorous schedule of school work, athletics, and extracurricular activities. He thanked former faculty members Robert Piazza and Bill Hunter, current faculty member Yasmine Haque, and his former basketball coaches Coach Shawon and Coach Wesley, for helping guide him.
“The biggest help in doing this at Hamden Hall was so many members of the community provided guidance, prepared, and pushed me to be the best that I could be in the now, but with an outlook for the future,” said Walter. “Being able to learn and grow in this environment greatly prepared me for all that was to come in college and work life.”
Outside of academics, Walter noted that winning the NEPSAC Championship in 2011 as a member of the Boys’ Varsity Basketball Team and bonding with his teammates is one of his favorite memories. His second favorite was interacting with Athletic Equipment Manager Joni McEachern at the Beckerman Athletic Center. He shared how Joni always made his day brighter and said she always had a great energy and happiness within her.