Each year, Quantcast hosts dozens of interns around the world, many as part of their undergraduate degrees. Finding the right company to intern with can be daunting and challenging for many. In this post, Eric Ruan Zhu, a former intern in our London office, shares his thoughts on why Quantcast was right for him and what brought him back after he graduated.
As part of my Math & Computer Science degree at Imperial College London, I had the opportunity to complete a four-month placement in the tech industry at the end of my third year. I was lucky enough to get a spot at Quantcast from more than a thousand applicants. Fast forward to the end of my degree last year, and I was offered the opportunity to come back to take on a full-time role.
From the compelling nature of the work to the vivid company culture, I thoroughly enjoyed my internship experience at Quantcast and it did not take me long to make the decision to return. For anyone considering an internship at Quantcast or any other company, I’d like to share a few recommended questions to keep in mind.
Is the work genuinely interesting?
First, the nature of work involved is critical. Quantcast is in the digital advertising industry and is building the audience platform to radically simplify advertising on the open internet. At the beginning of my internship, digital advertising was a completely new field for me and it was very exciting to learn about this new space. For example, I was fascinated to learn that within the few milliseconds of a web page load, thousands of actions take place behind the scenes to place an ad on it, from technology providers (in this case Quantcast) processing the bid request from ad exchanges to the instant auction for the ad slot based on the bid responses and, eventually, placing the ad on the publisher’s site.
It was even more amazing to learn that millions of these requests are happening every second around the globe, meaning the amount of data being processed is huge. Being a university student where most projects are of a small scale, it was a completely different and fruitful experience getting my hands on such complex and extensive datasets. In fact, the project I worked on during my placement had a touch of research and analysis before the engineering work, which helped me to better understand the market of digital advertising.
What other doors could the internship open?
As mentioned before, I worked on a project where I was exposed to both the research and the engineering aspect of Quantcast’s inventory team. This gave me exposure to the different types of work the company does and helped me learn about the diverse systems from different teams.
Is there a positive culture?
A company’s culture can often be more important than the kind of work you’re doing. At the end of the day, we are working with people in teams and feeling that the culture allows you to be your genuine self is essential. I can comfortably say that I feel part of Quantcast.
During my placement, my manager, mentor and colleagues all helped and guided me along my project, and also provided professional advice when needed. My project was also of a significant scale in the sense that I could see its impact on the company’s business, as opposed to the stereotype where interns carry out irrelevant tasks. Quantcast’s regular social events also made me feel part of the company.
These are the three questions I’d recommend anyone looking for an internship consider to make sure you find work that truly engages you, connects you to new experiences, and offers a culture that you feel comfortable in.