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ARTICLE

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

July 3, 2019 — by Cameron Williams

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/

Cameron Williams

Cameron Williams is an Associate on the Marketing Communications team at MediaMath. A native of Kentucky, he came to NYC to join the tenth cohort of the Marketing Engineering Program. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where he studied Human and Organizational Development, Theatre, and Music. Outside of work, you can find him attending a show on/off Broadway, enjoying live music, or playing bass.