By Harrison Brunelli, Intern, Business Development
Many people in technology will have the choice at some point in their career between working at a large company with a mature business and working at a smaller or medium-sized company with a rapidly growing business. My internship at OpenX has shown me the value of working at a company in the midst of its rapid growth stage. Unlike at many large companies where interns work in one function within one department, at OpenX, if you’re interested in a project or initiative that may be outside of your department, people are happy to get your input and help. This allows employees to pursue their passions and grow in ways that would not be possible if there wasn’t a culture of open collaboration.
This culture stems from two of the company’s key values: “OpenX is mine” and “We are one”. At OpenX, employees take ownership of both the company’s successes and the challenges it must face. “That’s not my problem,” are four words you’ll never hear and there is a strong belief that every employee has the potential to solve big problems. I’ve had the opportunity to experience this first-hand.
One afternoon, I was sitting in a weekly business development (BD) meeting, and the mobile team mentioned the massive amount of work currently on their plate. As a member of the BD team focused on display advertising, I have limited knowledge about mobile. Despite my lack of knowledge, I was interested in mobile because of its significant growth over the past few years. I didn’t know exactly how I could help, but I knew I could be of some value, so I offered my time. It turns out the mobile team was in the midst of a major market penetration effort and they could use any help they could get. I had the opportunity to jump in, learn about the mobile aspect of our business, and make a real contribution to the mobile sales effort moving forward. As an intern, I was able to learn a new side of the business and gain invaluable insight in how to form a sales strategy.
My work with the mobile team was not my only experience with being able to contribute to different parts of OpenX’s business. When I expressed interest in working with the private marketplace product, I was also able to lend a hand. This allowed me to get an in-depth look at a product I would have otherwise had little experience with and provided me with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the needs of the demand-side partners with whom we work. At most companies, an intern wouldn’t have the opportunity to work across functions and teams, and yet, I believe that this is the exact type of experience that can contribute most to a young professional’s development.
Not only did all of these experiences help with my professional development, but it also helped me to deliver better at my core functions on the business development team. Having a deeper understanding of products across the company, and learning how other individuals in the company viewed market opportunities informed all the work I did allowing me to contribute quality analysis and insights to my team.
OpenX’s position on the frontier of so many new developments in the ad tech landscape, in combination with its unique collaborative culture, puts its employees in a position to grow and learn, and for an intern, there is nothing better.