James Brooks graduated from SMU in 2003. Photo credit: Courtesy of James Brooks
James Brooks, SMU 2003 alumnus, recently founded Glass View, an advertising company based in New York City. Glass View pairs clients with premier websites and helps get their video ads more online engagement. He has also worked on ad campaigns for Dove and Budweiser. Brooks spoke with the SMU Campus Weekly about his company, getting into the advertising business and his time at SMU.
Q: So you majored in finance, how did you get into the advertising business?
A: “Sort of inadvertently. I actually had my internship at SMU in finance. I had an internship at Merrill Lynch, was on track to enter the financial world and then shortly after graduating, I decided instead I want to move to New York. So I moved to New York and instead of going out into a sort of normal finance job, I found I wanted to be more on the creative side so I interviewed with marketing companies, advertising agencies, and I landed my first gig at a small ad agency in Soho.”
Q: Where did the idea for Glass View come from? What’s the purpose?
A: “I realized the value and significance of being able to place advertisement media on those high tier properties. You’re really reaching authoritative audiences, those that could be considered influencers. Also, I realized there was a clear opportunity for a more focused effort on optimization towards performance. To put that more simply, I wanted to get a brand on premiere sites and I wanted them to perform better in terms of click through rates, share rates and [view] completion rates. That’s the reason I decided to launch Glass View.”
Q: What do you remember most about your time at SMU?
A: “I loved my psychology classes early on. At the time I wasn’t happy about it, but I remember not being able to sleep and being excited because of all the fun going on in Boaz Hall. Great memories. I loved being on campus. It’s a really cool environment and getting awesome one-on-one, hands-on experience with my finance professors, which resulted in my studying abroad in Copenhagen and getting the internship at Merrill Lynch.”
Q: Do you have any career advice for students?
A: “It’s great to just get out there and try new stuff. Don’t be scared or intimidated. It’s natural to feel unsure but use that to sort of fuel your motivation. I also think that you can try to intellectually understand anything, but it’s perhaps even more vital to just jump in and learn as you go. Also, it’s really great to keep great relationships with people you come in contact with. I’ve tried to do that with everyone I’ve worked with. You can’t have everyone love you, but you can always try to treat everyone with dignity and respect and things will go right.”