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April 15, 2014, Article

Article

Mashable: 'I Can't Recognize Everyone Anymore': Life at a Fast-Growing Startup

Read on Mashable

Early employees are the backbone of most startups — they took a risk joining a fledgling company, and thereafter have an immense impact on said startup's growth. They buy their own equipment, they establish the culture, they interview future hires and they work hard to maintain the culture as the company grows. They jump on the proverbial rocket ship and work, work, work — fueled by passion, ambition, coffee, free snacks and the good stuff in the kegerator. Thus far in our series The First 100, we've introduced you to hires 1 through 90 at various startups. 

And now, read on to meet the last cohort of #First100 employees, hires 91 through 100. After reading their stories, tell us about your #First100 experience on Twitter or in the comments.

 

98. Michael HauptmanMediaMath

98 Hauptman_Michael

Nailing the interview… I had been looking for a new opportunity with a smaller company for about a year and was hitting brick wall after brick wall. I had big company experience on my resume, but I graduated from SUNY Buffalo and never did consider myself to fit the classic definition of an academic. It seemed that all the roles I applied for were filtering for an impressive educational pedigree. Quite honestly I had developed a bit of an inferiority complex during the job search process and had an underdog mentality by the time I made it through to the interview process with MediaMath. My persistence had finally paid off, and I was motivated by the opportunity to prove to myself that I fit in with really smart people, doing bleeding edge work at a world-class level; and to learn from them. 

I remember leaving my interview with a sense of nervous excitement. I had prepared well and felt comfortable and confident instantly. I nailed it. Everyone I had met with was incredibly smart, driven, and fit the tech startup prototype with an Ivy League pedigree — yet they didn't seem to care that I didn’t. When I got the job offer a few days later, it was incredibly validating and I knew that this was an opportunity I'd have to be out of my mind to pass up. 
 
Innovation excitement… I had spent three and a half years at a third party ad server that was a small technology arm of a big public digital media company. The technology was for the most part in maintenance mode. I felt stifled, uninspired, and as though no one was really interested in innovating. Everyone at MediaMath had high energy, seemed truly excited about what they were working on, and more importantly, about their ideas which turned into products that were changing an industry. I did my research on the founders, the company, and the people I'd be working with and was blown away at the prospect of not only working alongside and learning from the top visionaries in ad-tech, but also getting in on the ground floor.
 
Seizing the day… I've gone from being the lone sales engineer at the company, to helping to kick-start our EMEA operations with two of our co-founders Erich Wasserman and Greg Williams, to now managing three teams of solutions developers, sales engineers, and data analysts. It’s been a wild ride and I’ve taken some big steps in my career learning not only how to build out and manage teams, but also how to seize every single opportunity that presents itself at a company growing at warp speed, even if it is outside of your job description.  
 
MediaMath culture is… Genuine. Respectful. Dedicated. Proud. Collaborative. Innovative. Accountable. Empowering. We truly own our careers here and are empowered to influence the organization by identifying opportunities and priorities. We hire very strongly on culture fit and every person from the top down is simply intelligent, good-natured and down to earth. So down to earth, that the CEO will even refuse to take the first class seat that a brand new sales engineer somehow got on the flight back from Minneapolis, while he gets shuffled back to his middle seat in economy. Yes, even if you ask multiple times throughout the flight. (Thanks, Joe!) With great power comes great responsibility, so we work hard but we also like to have fun to celebrate our accomplishments. There are regular trivia nights, happy hours, and team outings. I’ve also made some incredible friends here – the kind of friends that will go to great lengths to wrap your entire desk and all of its contents in Disney Princess wrapping paper for your birthday. A lot of us hang out on the weekends and spend time outside of the office going to concerts, playing sports, and even taking vacations together.

Today, MediaMath has 375 employees.

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