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Quantum leap — why this theoretical physicist now works in martech

August 23, 2019 — by MediaMath0

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This blog post was originally published on www.marketingmag.com.au

Ever thought of making a career change? Anna Grodecka-Grad did — from a tenured position in quantum physics to scalable programmatic advertising. Now, she holds a suite of skills of which other executives could only dream.

This article originally appeared in The Nurture Issue.

There is a very specific kind of person in this world, and they are few and far between. The kind who appear as though everything comes to them without effort, like life has predetermined a winning path for them. Anna Grodecka-Grad is one such person. Except she’s not. What you don’t see when Grodecka-Grad makes her career — spanning science, technology, mathematics, programmatic and executive relations — look easy is a long-crafted and ferocious appetite for knowledge, an impregnable drive for improvement and the tenacity and grit required to get there.

In her past life, Grodecka-Grad spent her time publishing papers titled ‘Indirect spin dephasing via charge-state decoherence in optical control schemes in quantum dots’ and ‘Influence of acoustic phonons on the optical control of quantum dots driven by adiabatic rapid passage’. With a PhD in theoretical quantum physics and close to a decade studying and teaching in tertiary academia, she decided it was time for a seachange.

In 2013, Grodecka-Grad began her new professional journey with martech, programmatic and data management company MediaMath. Today she is responsible for clients’ activation onboarding, ongoing services, consulting and support, custom solutions and integration as chief services officer.

Marketing caught up with Grodecka-Grad to discuss her views on the future of work in the marketing technology and programmatic landscape, the changing role of data within complex organisations and how she translates the skills brought from theoretical physics to our industry.

To read the interview please click here.

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Helping Grow More Women Leaders in Tech

July 17, 2019 — by MediaMath0

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In Singapore, women hold only 21% of senior management roles and 8% of corporate board membership, as reported by Diversity Task Force in Singapore. And the consequences are dire:

  1. Companies are losing out. We’re all individuals and can each bring different talents, skills, and experiences to the table. Having diverse senior management means more innovation and stronger capabilities in designing solutions for the company.
  2. There are not enough role models and mentors for future leaders. If there are more women in leadership roles, other women can also see themselves in those positions and would also be able to build bigger networks.
  3. The gender pay gap will not be addressed. At the rate we are going, it will take 217 years to end gender-based disparities in pay and employment opportunities. This is highlighted each year by Equal Pay Day, a symbolic day that symbolises how far into the year women must work in order to earn what men earned the previous year. This year in the US Equal Pay Day fell on April 2nd.

Last quarter, we attended Dream Collective’s Emerging Leaders Program. The event provided awareness, tools, and techniques for improving leadership skills.

Here are some of our key learnings from the workshop:

  1. Career success is 60% exposure and only 10% performance. Performance and a great work ethic only count for 10% of whether or not we will succeed in our careers, while a whopping 60% is attributed to the exposure that we get (and 30% to image). While a solid performance foundation is necessary, focusing on ensuring that we are getting internal and external exposure is also necessary to drive success.

Numerous studies such as this 2015 research from the University of Kent in the UK have shown that women are compensated on their track record (performance), while men are compensated on their potential. According to this McKinsey report, this difference in how men and women are evaluated can be blamed on embedded institutional mindsets. These structural barriers—or, put plainly, discrimination—when it comes to hiring and promoting makes it clear that men and women are judged by different criteria and rewarded differently for the same accomplishments.

  1. EQ trumps IQ. A common trait across successful leaders is understanding what motivates others and relating to them in a positive manner. Qualities such as empathy, self-awareness, and self-regulation are all factors that affect how successful people are likely to be in their careers.

The good news is that we can improve our EQ. One example of a method to engage self-regulation that we learned at the Emerging Leaders Program is the “Respond, Don’t React” method. While a reaction is instant, a response is based on information from both the conscious and unconscious minds, and will typically yield a better outcome than a snap reaction. Responding with a certain tone, words, body language, and sentence structuring can really make a positive difference.

  1. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. According to the “Women in the Workplace 2018” study by McKinsey and Leanin.org, women are negotiating salaries and asking for promotions at the same rate as men. The problem is they are less likely to be successful. We learned some solid steps for negotiation, the most notable being that one should always have a Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) in mind. Essentially, have a second-best outcome at hand before you enter any negotiation.
  2. Personal branding is key! Everyone has a personal brand, whether we make an effort to work on it or not. Maximizing aspects of our personality and presenting ourselves in the best possible way is very important to succeed, both within our external and internal network. Ensuring we have a good social media presence and networking are two efforts that can be very effective. Using social media tools enables us to increase our professional visibility on those platforms. Networking by building relationships and staying connected to other leaders is extremely important as there is so much to learn and share.

It will take a lot of work to bring these ideas into practice, but it must be done if we want significant progress—not just for our own careers, but to create more and better opportunities for women in the global workforce.

Marta Barrera is a Senior Sales Manager at MediaMath. She currently manages a portfolio of blue chip clients and key agency partnerships across South East Asia. During her free time, you will find her scuba diving around Asia or simply enjoying a glass of wine with friends.

 

Shifali Ranawaka is an Engagement Director with eight years of experience in programmatic. She works in the Singapore office at MediaMath across a range of agency and direct clients. Shifali enjoys cooking, painting and indulging in terrible reality TV.

 

Careers

Knowing Not What We May Be—Growing a Career in Adtech

July 3, 2019 — by Cameron Williams0

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As graduation season comes to a close, we see a lot of young people begin to transition to the workforce. I graduated from college a little over a year ago and, like a lot of recent graduates, I had ambitions of having a job ready for me to step into as soon as I crossed the stage. Unfortunately, things did not pan out that way. After submitting hundreds of job applications into what seems like a black hole, I felt lost. I thought to myself, “Does college really prepare people for the current job market?” I explored these feelings more in a blog post I wrote called “Finding a Postgrad Job in 4 Easy Steps!”, which attracted some attention on LinkedIn. I wrote it about nine months ago while I was working remotely for a startup company. Since then, so much of my life has changed for the better.

My interest in marketing as a career path began a few years ago. I managed a marketing project focused on creating a comprehensive plan for a beauty collection startup using industry research, marketing strategies, and product recommendations. Throughout this process, I realized I was enjoying the work that I was doing and knew this was the field in which I wanted to immerse myself. While browsing Glassdoor, I noticed that MediaMath was one of the few digital marketing companies to win a “Top Places to Work” award. I searched LinkedIn to see if I had any connections who worked there. It turns out, I did: a fellow alum of my school. We talked about her career path, the company, and her current role. Then she told me about the Marketing Engineering Program, or MEP for short, a three-month career accelerator that equips participants with the knowledge and skills to be successful in ad tech.

I had no knowledge about ad tech prior to joining MediaMath. As far as education, most universities only teach price, promotion, place, and product (the 4 Ps of marketing) and go over relevant case studies—they do not tend to cover digital marketing curriculums. So, MEP was created out of the need to develop more talent and leadership in the ad tech ecosystem. It offers a unique way of learning where participants get paid to train with the best people in the industry. It brings together people from diverse backgrounds to learn, teach, and grow.

Months later, I asked my connection for a referral and began the interview process for the program. There was definitely a bit of a learning curve because I had no experience or knowledge base in ad tech. However, thanks to the Internet as well as some MEP alums I connected with prior, I was able to understand the ecosystem ahead of my onsite interview. When I received my offer letter in early February, I spent the next few weeks packing as many bags as I could to make the move from Kentucky to New York. I had been to the city a few times before, but this was my first major move since college. I was anxious to move to a place where I knew no one, but where I knew there was a great opportunity to jumpstart my career.

The program started in February, and for the next 12 weeks, the 11 people in my cohort—affectionately called “MEPs”—became fully immersed in the world of programmatic advertising. We had an estimated 80 hours of intensive training sessions by the time the program concluded this past May– technical training as well as professional development sessions with the HR department. We also had the opportunity to shadow people in different departments and learn more about the operations of the company. Now that the program has ended, about half of my cohort, myself included, have been offered to stay full-time at MediaMath in various roles. MediaMath aims to have 100 percent job placement at the end of the program, but it is up to the individual if they decide to pursue a job at MediaMath or not (i.e., we could look for opportunities elsewhere if we chose to).

MEP will always be a pivotal part of my career. I felt lost after graduation and, besides my remote work, I was getting job rejection after job rejection and felt depressed that my collegiate years perhaps did not best prepare me for the modern job economy. Not only did I obtain gainful employment, but I acquired a new network, especially a network of peers, and a POV that marketing can in fact be a force for good in the economy, in the world, and in my life.

Interested in applying to MEP? Learn more here: https://www.mediamath.com/careers/marketing-engineer-program/

CareersCultureEducationPeople

Got Millennials? How to Attract Top Talent—and Keep Them

January 10, 2017 — by Elise James-Decruise0

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This byline originally appeared on Recruiter.com

Over the past few years, millennials have developed a negative reputation as the lazy, self-indulgent “me-me-me generatiom.” However, when you look at the facts, that picture couldn’t be further from the truth. It turns out the majority of millennials are actually workaholics with no plans to “job hop” who don’t even take their allotted vacation time.

Millennials have moved past Gen. X to become the largest generation in the American workforce. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, the number of millennials in the workforce – currently 53.5 million – is only expected to grow as millennials currently enrolled in college graduate and begin working. Companies need to take notice of this generation and understand what it takes to not only recruit the best talent in the group, but keep them happy.

Throughout all industries – from tech and finance to hospitality and fashion – the traditional offerings of money and stability will no longer cut it when trying to attract the top millennial employees. Instead, organizations need to offer transparency, culture, and flexibility. To recruit elite talent, the entire company needs to be involved – not just the HR team.

If you’re looking for ways to attract young talent to your organization, check out the below tips on drawing and keeping their attention:

1. Write a Compelling Job Description

Now that it’s easier than ever to post jobs and search for positions online, a generic job description is no longer enough. The description of any open position should reflect the company and the team.

If culture is important, that needs to be clearly included in the job description to ensure the right person is applying for the right job. If the post is vague, it makes the applicant question if the job is right for them – and it wastes the time of the company when employees are stuck interviewing someone who isn’t right for the role.

If you are not looking for a typical job candidate, you need to consider the qualities that would make an applicant successful in your company, on your team, and in this specific role; then write a description based on them.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Pivot People to Other Roles

Sometimes you interview a candidate who blows you away – but it turns out they aren’t the right fit for the specific position to which they applied. Rather than not hiring this impressive talent, try pivoting them to another team internally.

As much as you want the right person for the right role, sometimes you need to take a step back and recognize it’s important to have the top talent in your company in general. If you go this route, patience will be necessary as it can take several months to find the right fit. If you have the flexibility to pivot, millennial candidates will be excited by the opportunity to learn through experience until you ultimately find the perfect placement, and your company will benefit from obtaining a stellar employee.

3. Get Creative With Your Company Perks

Company perks that make the difference in retaining employees go far beyond a happy hour on Fridays or free meals. Millennials don’t expect excessive perks that aren’t sustainable for most companies, but they do want something tailored to them and their passions. Focus on creating the right perks for your ideal workforce.

If you find out what drives your applicants, you can alter the discussion around those specific perks. Do they have a family at home? Offer a flexible work schedule. Fitness buff? Provide free classes or allow them time to catch a midday workout when they don’t have meetings. Even internal professional development training can be valuable to someone just getting started in their career and help convince millennials to join – and stay at – your company.

By taking these steps, you can make your business much more attractive to millennial applicants, which should prove very beneficial to your organization: Millennials will represent nearly 75 percent of the workforce by 2030.

CareersCulturePeopleUncategorized

How We Recruit Millennial Talent

November 28, 2016 — by Julie Smith0

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This post is part of a four-part series around managing a training program, including recruiting, retaining and reviewing young talent.

As the newest generation hits the market, deemed “Millennials,” there has been a shift in what it takes to recruit top talent.  Whether it’s the tech industry, finance, or fashion, the old drivers of money and stability aren’t the only things attracting top talent anymore. To stay current in todays market Millenials wants transparency, culture and flexibility.

After recruiting over four cohorts of MediaMath’s Marketing Engineer Program, we’ve interviewed talent from across the world. Recruiting them isn’t just for the HR team, it’s a full company effort. Whether you are a hiring manager or a recruiter, if you’re looking for ways to attract young talent to your company, check out our tips for drawing and keeping their attention.

• Write a compelling job description

Gone are the days of generic job descriptions. Write job descriptions that reflect your company and your team. Using unclear verbiage, leaving the applicant guessing if it’s the right fit won’t help them know if they’re applying for the right role (and will save you time when interviewing people who ARE right for the role). Consider their background and take into account what qualities makes someone successful in your company, on your team and in this role. Instead of writing “Analysis and research background,” think “Coursework or professional experience with data-driven problem solving and/or quantitative reasoning.” At MediaMath, being data-driven is in our mission so we look for people who have that passion.

• Don’t be afraid to pivot them to other roles

At MediaMath we want people to find the right role for themselves as much as we want top talent to join the company. If we have someone come in for an interview, and they’re a rock star, but not the right fit for the position, we’ll pivot them to other teams internally. While it might take us a few months to find the right fit, what matters is that we do.  I work alongside many of these people each day, and they’ve found roles perfect for their skillset and interests. It’s just as important to interview based on their ability to get the job done as it is that they’ll be successful in the role and on the team. If you have someone who will be working alone a majority of the time, but they talk about being a great people manager and enjoy working with people, they likely aren’t going to be successful no matter their technical abilities.

• Get creative with your company perks and tailor your message

Perks come in all shapes and sizes – they don’t have to be excessive. While the Facebooks and Googles of the world can provide free meals, that’s often not sustainable for most companies. If the budget is tight, focus on creating the right perks for your ideal workforce. A flexible work schedule, casual dress code, a robust onboarding program and internal professional development trainings can add a lot of value to someone starting out their career. Focus on finding what drives your applicants and tailor the discussion to those. Do you they have a family at home? Tailor their schedule to something that works for them. Do they work out a lot? Talk about how they can leave when they don’t have meetings to catch a mid-day cycle class.

• Make the conversation a two-way street

Millennials want to know that their new role is going to help their career grow as much as the position will help the company grow. Ask where they see themselves in five years, if it’s in a manager role, talk to them about the transferable skills they will get in the position and how the role will help them get where they want to go.  For our Marketing Engineers we even change the traditional cover letter to require research and an informative reaction to an industry trend. We want to see that they are not only interested in the role, but their impact on the industry. Make the conversation about more than their ability to complete the job.

• Train your team to interview for the right skills

All interviewers for our Marketing Engineer Program attend a mandatory training. The training doesn’t need to be long. Ours is 45 minutes.  However, it’s important that each interviewer is familiar with the job description, knows the skills and/or competencies required for the position, and understands their role in the hiring process.  This will ensure everyone is on the same page, and lead to a seamless and streamlined interview process. Remember to also include the basics like interview etiquette, applicable employment laws and the hiring process/timeline.

Young talent is important to the vitality of any organization. Whether it’s their drive for innovation, their openness to trying new things, or their exponential potential, Millennials provide a unique skill set and perspective. By utilizing these tools and collaborating with your recruiters, you’ll bring the right talent in at the right time.

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How Can Education Address the Gender Gap in Our Industry?

November 14, 2016 — by Lauren Jones0

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This byline originally appeared on ExchangeWire.

In the US, fewer than a quarter (25%) of jobs in STEM fields are held by women, while in the UK this is even lower, at one-in-seven (14%).

Diversity in tech organisations is lacking; and we still do not have enough women in the pipeline to address the imbalance. Despite the fact that more women are attending college, fewer American women are gaining computer science degrees. Here in the UK, UCAS figures show the number of women studying computer science at universities has decreased in the last five years. Not only are fewer women going into a career in tech, but more women than men are leaving the industry. There was more balance 30 years ago; what we are seeing now is a downward trend.

It’s essential that we address this as a priority, especially when you consider that statistics show companies that encourage gender diversity enjoy more average growth and an increased return on equity. Introducing more women into the workforce broadens skill sets and encourages new ideas and approaches.

Furthermore, the UK is experiencing a digital skills gap, set to reach 745,000 workers by 2017, and one million by 2020. Why wouldn’t we want to maximise our available skills to meet these industry needs? The importance of encouraging more women to join the tech workforce is growing. So, what can we do about it?

Schools

This is progress, but there is still a long way to go. Many young women still do not view technology as a possible, or attractive, career path. This can be addressed by making women aware of the variety of roles available in the industry. Initiatives, such as Girls Who Code in the US and Stemettes in the UK, as well as our New Marketing Institute (NMI) achieve this by facilitating careers workshops with university partners. Through these sessions, we show young people that our workforce hails from all manner of backgrounds. Also, that there are many different paths towards a range of opportunities in tech. We also partner with universities across the globe to provide cutting edge curriculum and applied learning principles. This way, we educate, engage, and empower the next generation of marketers.A fundamental part of the problem is that, until recently, there has not been enough early exposure to computing in schools. In the US, only one-in-10 high schools offer computer science. In the UK, the government has received mounting pressure from tech organisations to address the skills gap. This, coupled with recognition that programming skills are useful in any career, brought about a massive curriculum shake-up. Since 2014, it has included programming lessons for children from as young as five.

Communities

The tech industry remains a male-dominated field, which can be off-putting to female applicants. Why join an industry where the challenges and barriers women often face in business are more prevalent? Mentoring and coaching is crucial in a sector where women are so underrepresented.

Partnering with nonprofit organisations to expand access to our resources is also an initiative we offer. We run partner programmes with groups aimed at supporting women’s career progression, such as Step Up, which works with high school girls from under-resourced communities. Through mentoring and education, Step Up helps girls to become confident, career-focused, professional women.

Companies

Due to the lack of flexible working in tech organisations, many women often find themselves having to choose between family and career. We believe companies that encourage loyalty and trust will be rewarded with a stronger and more balanced workforce. Unfortunately, this is not representative across the industry. In September 2015, the Timewise Flexible Job Index report showed that STEM industries are least likely to advertise flexible jobs.

It’s critical for organisations to demonstrate flexibility by meeting the learner where they are. That means providing a customisable learning experience that reaches modern marketing professionals, wherever they are in their knowledge, career, and physical location.

There is still a long way to go. But, there is hope; BoardWatch is now reporting zero all-male boards, down from 21 in 2010. Things are changing already. Our fast-paced industry is founded on innovation, so let’s make sure we keep up!

CareersDIGITAL MARKETINGEventsMediaPeoplePROGRAMMATICTrendsUncategorized

How to Solve the Digital Skill Gap? Invest in Education and Training

October 28, 2016 — by Maria Brugel0

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At the beginning of this month, New Marketing Institute (NMI) EMEA held its inaugural Marketing Engineer Program (MEP) showcase event in London. We couldn’t have asked for a better first experience – whether it was through great guest speakers, valuable conversations, or Marketing Engineers telling their stories – we were able to connect with a diverse audience who shared in our commitment to talent and education. But let me start from the top.

MEP is MediaMath’s immersive three-month training program, which aims to develop highly skilled programmatic campaign managers with a solid grasp of the ecosystem and upon graduation, they are able to step into full-time roles within the digital marketing and ad tech industries. Our third London cohort is soon to graduate and the aim for the showcase event was to connect current participants with hiring organizations, from the likes of Affiperf, Omnicom, TVTY and Index Exchange, as well as to elevate the conversations with ad tech and media industry partners around digital skills gap.

The afternoon was kicked off by our excellent guest speakers, including Josh McBain, Head of Innovation at Future Foundation and Kristin Brewe, Advertising Lecturer at University of West London. McBain presented insights from a 2016 research paper on the education and skills required for the future. Besides the interesting data, two things really stood out for me.

Firstly, the future is defined by liquid skills and learning a new skill is becoming a form for younger generations. Secondly, while global technology adoption is only set to grow with the emergence of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and 3D printing, only 34 percent of young people in the UK are feeling ‘very confident’ about having necessary skills for a successful career.

While UK digital ad spend was at £8.6 billion in 2015, the shortage of digital skills represents a bottleneck for the industry. The problem stems from the constantly expanding range of digital technologies and new skill sets associated with them, and inability of the education sector to keep up with the speed of the industry. As a lecturer, Brewe was well positioned to speak on this lack of awareness among graduates despite the number of opportunities in the digital sector, particularly in programmatic.

So, what are my takeaways? The digital skills gap is real and the industry needs to look for practical ways to address this challenge. Here are my two cents’ worth:

  • We can, and should, be more proactive in partnering with educational institutions to talk about careers in the ad tech and media sectors – whether through employability sessions, guest lectures, or directly engaging with STEM students. Creative Data Academy, run by IDM and NMI guest lectures for students at Birkbeck University are just two examples.
  • We need to be more open-minded when it comes to hiring talent. While it requires less effort to on-board a more experienced candidate, by closing the doors to fresh graduates or career changers, we are creating further barriers for employment. As a result, we are missing out on some great talent. Be it programmatic trading, PPC or social media management – these skills and knowledge can be taught through a structured on-boarding framework. MediaMath achieves this through Marketing Engineer Program, where participants learn several subject areas through class-room training, job shadowing and self-driven projects. The results speak for themselves – 64 global graduates over the past two years with 100 percent job offers in digital marketing.
  • We are a creative industry, so let’s think creatively and work collaboratively. There are great agency-focused initiatives such as AdMission by IPA, or graduate programs at individual agencies, but these can benefit a lot from the expertise of ad tech. Things like Lumascape or workings of a demand-side platform can be overwhelming, so why not involve the tech and data partners to explain it first-hand?

At the end of the day, the industry talent pool is limited and people tend to move around between agencies and tech companies. Why not work together to raise the bar for everyone to benefit from?

CareersCulturePeoplePROGRAMMATICUncategorized

Employee Spotlight: Taking a Leap of Faith

October 20, 2016 — by Amarita Bansal0

“I would not have changed my decision for leaving a very stable career at L’Oreal with a great trajectory to make the leap of faith to come to a fast growing company, that’s very dynamic and has afforded me opportunities that I don’t think any other company would have been able to offer,” says Brian Murdock, Director, M&A Integration at MediaMath.

From working for one of the biggest cosmetics companies, L’Oreal, to transitioning into the adtech industry, Murdock started his professional journey on Wall Street.

Studying business management with a concentration on finance and investments at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, Murdock always wanted to work in finance. Having a knack for numbers, Murdock’s first job was working in the synthetic CDO market. But in 2008, the global financial crisis occurred.

“With the crash of 2008, I actually lost my job and it was a great time for me to really wake up and realize that I didn’t really like finance and what I was doing.”

His next move? Murdock stepped into the world of marketing for the next four years as a brand manager at L’Oreal as he was always drawn to the strategic side of owning a brand as well as having the opportunity to learn the overall component of how a business ran and operated.

“I loved it,” Murdock says. “I was responsible for building the strategy and making sure that the business was going to grow, be competitive and gain market share. And as a marketer, running a very large brand, I was exposed to not only the evolution but the power of digital media and how that plays within marketing.”

Moving over to the programmatic side, Murdock could see the potential with digital advertising and wanted to be part of the game. At the time, he wasn’t looking to change careers but an opportunity arose at MediaMath. “L’Oreal’s’ a big corporation, that’s how they function, and I wanted to take a risk from a career perspective to really branch out and try a smaller company. Try to take a risk as someone young in my career and be part of that transformation that was taking place within the digital environment.”

In 2014, Murdock joined MediaMath in the product commercialization group where he owned the social portion of the business and was responsible for developing strategies to ensure the social business grew as the company scaled. From there, he moved over to the corporate development team where he worked on the company’s latest acquisition, Spree7 — a leading German digital media consulting and programmatic implementation firm.

“In my new role I was to develop a strategy on how the newly acquired business would fit into MediaMath so I actually moved to Berlin and was there for three to four months, implementing the strategy and integrating the business into MediaMath. That was one of the highlights of my career thus far, I worked with amazing people.” Based in Berlin, Murdock was also able to go back and forth to London to go meet with the team there.

“MediaMath is a very dynamic company. And as we have grown so quickly, it’s very interesting to be in a global role at a global company because it has afforded me the ability to travel to other offices. I’ve loved being able to visit different offices around the world – seeing how different they all are but still having the same values and core components that make MediaMath such a great company to work for.”

CareersCultureDIGITAL MARKETINGMediaPeopleUncategorized

Mathlete Values: Win/Win Wins

October 11, 2016 — by Travis Barnes0

Last month, MediaMath redefined the values that we hold ourselves to for our clients, partners, and employees. In this series, Mathletes reflect on each of the values that MediaMath has adopted.

Success in this world is not a net-zero game, but finding ways to grow your business by offering advertisers ways to improve the return on their spend can translate to better value for publishers as well. In the most basic formulation, win/win wins.

 We take the same approach to how we work with each other within our teams – it is very difficult to coerce anyone to do something they do not want to do. Rather than expending the extra effort to get someone to do something against their interest, find a way to make them benefit from your desired course of action. What works for business relationships works for interpersonal relationships, too. People are happy to help you win when it helps them win.

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How to Know When It’s Time to Search for a New Job

October 6, 2016 — by Jesse Comart0

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This byline originally appeared on The Huffington Post

Have you ever been caught looking for work at work? I have. My boss always assumes I’m casually on the hunt for a new job. After all, born post-1980, I’m a millennial and the stigma of our professional restlessness is well documented. To be clear, I’m not looking for a new job. And analysis by FiveThirtyEight and researchers at the University of Southern California help debunk the notion that ours is a particularly transient generation. Yes, millennials are more likely to have more jobs than the previous generation, but the same was true when comparing our parents to their parents.

The challenge for me and my peers is we are endlessly presented with new professional opportunities. With the ubiquity of job sites like LinkedIn, Opportunity and The Muse, the greener grass is just a click away.

Having hopped jobs four times before age 30, I have developed a methodology for knowing when to make the move. The system is based on the five ideal elements of any job. Of course, no job is perfect. But the goal is to check off four out of five. If you can only answer yes to three or fewer of these questions, it may be time to update your LinkedIn profile.

  1. Are you learning something new? You’ll be most engaged at work when you are challenged. By challenged I do not mean having to endure exhausting hours, a micromanaging boss or an insurmountable project. Instead, does your job challenge the way you think? Are you regularly learning something new to stay current with new technologies, theories, or developments? In my job, I am surrounded by smart people who are changing the way the advertising industry works from the inside out. Spend enough time with visionary people who challenge the status quo and you will start to think differently too. It’s exhilarating.
  2. Do you like the people you work with? The people you work with can be the most important factor in any job. They do not have to be your best friends, but your boss(es), peers and employees should respect your work, respect your personal life and push you to be your best self in the office. When you wake up and think about going into work, your mood is influenced by the people you imagine interacting with at the office. Even if you are focused on a specific project, it is the people who condition your environment and make an easy task loathsome and a tough task gratifying.
  3. Are you good at your job? Holding a sense of pride in your work product is vital. As you advance in your career, you will settle into your skill set and begin to develop a clear sense of your strengths. There is always more to learn and no task is ever perfectly complete. For me, moving from consulting to in-house communications work came with a steep learning curve. I suddenly had to represent myself as the single expert in my company, whereas I had previously been one of many at a large firm. At one point, my boss exclaimed, “You’re the expert. Stop telling us what you think we should do and just do it!” The process forced me to take real ownership over my expertise.
  4. Are you compensated well? This one seems obvious and in many ways it is. Salary, bonus, stock and other financial incentives are the most objective, quantifiable measures we have to determine our value in the workplace. Compensation can also come in other forms, such as work-life balance. If it’s important for you to spend time with your family, keep up hobbies or dedicate time to travel, you may place high value on a more flexible schedule. You may also value being recognized for a job well done. That’s an important piece of “compensation” for me. But to be clear, particularly if you are thinking about starting a family or paying off student loans, the financial compensation can be a deciding factor.
  5. Are you making a difference? One of these things is not like the other. The previous four are all about you and what you derive from your job. But the ability to have a positive impact on your world, however defined, should be a consideration. Your purpose could be narrow but lasting, like a teacher. Or you might work in government with the hopes of effecting broad change for millions of people. Too often, the ability to make a difference is at odds with compensation. It was true for me when I worked in the U.S. Senate and I see it with many of my friends who have opted to work in journalism or educate students in low-income cities.

These five questions make up the foundation for the methodology of whether or not you should look for a new job. Implementing this strategy is another challenge all together. Everyone needs to decide for themselves how these factors stack up against one another. And of course, is four the magic number for you? Some people may be willing to sacrifice more to advance at a dream job.

For me, I examine these criteria every six months. Do it more often than that and you’ll constantly be distracted at your current job. That’s not to say I wouldn’t consider a terrific opportunity if it presented itself. But I’m hitting four out of five, so I’m not looking for it.