Employee Spotlight: Turning to tech and never looking back

// 06.18.2014 // Culture

I get you. Because I’ve been there. The fluorescent lights from above weighing you down, the sound of phone conversations and keyboard clicks muffled by the cubicle walls towering around you, and that tie that always feels just a little too tight.

I began my professional journey at a Fortune 50 Company; one that is widely considered an American institution. A semester-long co-op during my junior year of college led to an offer to join the corporate finance team full time when I graduated. I was fresh out of college, and followed the path of least resistance to a full time job.

There was nothing conventionally wrong with where I worked, but I felt like a drone among thousands of employees. Processes were set in stone, promoting change and efficiencies was cumbersome, employees were required to fit into a distinct and structured mold, and a feeling of invisibility was ever-present in crunching numbers and keeping the books. At the end of the day, I was just another number. My professional life needed a change.

It was scary, though. Where to even start looking? I wanted to work in a startup environment – hold the cubicle. I wanted a place where I could be creative, build something from the ground up, and work with people who view the world through similar eyes.

I also wanted to move away from the field of finance and into a more technical role, but I was worried. Can someone really change careers without going back to school first? Was I locked into the work of T accounts and journal entries?

My search for a new career seemed like an impossible task – either the job I wished for didn’t exist, or it was one that I wasn’t qualified for. I was looking for an about face in my career, but where could that possibly become a reality? MediaMath gave me that opportunity, and I am forever grateful.

I found MediaMath through my research of the New York City startup and tech scene on a site called Made In NYC. I asked around, and a few friends were familiar with the company. I took the plunge and submitted an application for “Partner Operations Specialist.”

MediaMath didn’t shy away from my lack of industry experience. A growing company like this one has a multitude of needs, and in turn requires a multitude of personalities and backgrounds to meet those needs. I felt valued from my first day, not because I met certain job requirements, but because I had something to offer the company to help it grow. They embraced me for what I had to offer then, and more importantly, for what I would have to offer in the future.

In my initial role, I acted as the technical project lead for our partner operations teams. And when our Product team needed to start making billing improvements to our core product, my financial background was a perfect fit. It became immediately clear that my experience in financial auditing meshed well with the rule-based, logical minds of our brilliant engineering team, and I started working more closely with our Product Management team.

Today, as a member of the TerminalOne™ Product team, I manage the pieces of our Marketing OS related to audience and contextual data targeting (ie: what’s the website about and what do we know about the user viewing it?). I work with teams on issues like new partner integrations, process improvements, and the design and development of new features.

From product design sessions, to engineering discussions, to strategic brainstorming with our Business Development team, my days are always entertaining, and without a doubt the most gratifying I’ve had in my professional career. I work with the most passionate, intelligent, and seriously awesome group of people I could have hoped for. 

At MediaMath, my job isn’t just to maintain the status quo for a long established industry – it’s to push the industry into uncharted territory. Problems we tackle are often the first of their kind. The projects we build become an industry’s first offerings. The capabilities of our TerminalOne Marketing OS are expanding each day in an industry that has yet to reach its full potential.

I truly enjoy getting up and going to work every day. It’s incredible to know that the juggernauts of the advertising world rely on the work of the small few here at MediaMath. I’m proud to be one of them. So loosen that tie and finish that coffee. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

A Picture of Jason Schickel

JASON SCHICKEL

Product Associate Jason Schickel is a Product Associate on the TerminalOne Product Team, managing all Partner Targeting offerings within the platform in various pixel, audience, and contextual flavors. He also manages internal brand safety and inventory quality initiatives. Coming to MediaMath in 2013 with a unique background in corporate finance and freelance visual design, Jason combines his left and right brain abilities for work on the TerminalOne Marketing OS™. Jason holds a BS in Finance from Penn State University.
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