Today I was able to sit down with David Zelken of ShareASale. David and I discussed his role at ShareASale, valet parking and potatoes (twice)…. Check out the full interview below!
J: What is your role/function here at ShareASale?
D: As Sales Director, I work with prospective merchants that are exploring affiliate marketing and ShareASale – explaining our services, cost structure, and benefits. I’m also responsible for identifying and recruiting new merchants that would fit in well on the network.
J: How long have you been with ShareASale?
D: 5 years that seemingly went by in about 2.
J: What is the most enjoyable and rewarding part of your job?
D: Being around the people I work with. Everyone here has a great attitude and I think that’s due to the fact that we’re all welcome to share our ideas – and as a smaller company each one of us can have a real impact on helping the company grow and succeed.
Also, I speak with a lot of company owners that are very passionate about their product or website. I like hearing their enthusiasm when they believe they have something of great value on their hands that they want to get in front of affiliates.
J: Have you ever had a really unusual job before ShareASale?
D: In high school I worked as a valet at one of the local country clubs. I once got yelled at by one of the members for locking his keys in the car while it was still running…whoops. No tip from that guy.
I also worked with my Dad in the family business. The company was called United Potato Co. As wholesalers and brokers of fresh produce, we had to be at work around 3:30 am everyday so that the foodservice people we sold to could get their produce to the restaurants on time. I think waking up at that hour every day for years might have stunted my growth and that’s why I’m only 5’ 9”.
J: If you weren’t at ShareASale, what would your dream job be?
D: Well, maybe a race car driver. I just found out I received 4 speeding tickets in one week while I was on vacation in Arizona so maybe I’d be good at that.
This is probably more of a dream side gig, but I would love to be the guy that creates the soundtracks for movies. Choose songs that go with the scenes, etc. Most of my favorite movies have great soundtracks and it would be fun to have that kind of creative impact on a movie.
J: Where are you originally from?
D: Deerfield, Illinois. It’s a suburb north of Chicago.
J: Where did you go to school? What kind of degree do you have?
D: B.A. from the University of Kansas with a major in Psychology. I also transferred to the University of Iowa for one day and then decided to go back to Kansas. After college I enrolled in some pre-med courses because I thought I wanted to become a dentist. Thankfully, that dream didn’t last long (3 days). Nothing against all of you dentists out there. I’m sure there will be a lot of dentists reading this.
J: Describe yourself in 3 words
D: I don’t know
J: Well, I guess that is 3 words?
D: HAHAHAHAHA…. It’s difficult to describe oneself!
J: Favorite sport/team?
D: That’s a tie, the Chicago Bulls and Bears. The Blackhawks are creeping back up though now that they’re on the map again and Bill Wirtz is gone. My favorite sport to play is probably basketball.
J: If you could only eat one kind of food for the rest of your life what would it be?
D: King Crab Legs with a steak, baked potato, and Sierra Nevada on the side.
*Not sure if anyone is counting but that’s two mentions of “potato” on here…kinda interesting.