Everything you hear about start-up work spaces is true. And for a Princetonian, the orange-and-black AppNexus office makes you feel right at home. The office has almost no walls, mirroring the casual relationships between employees and managers. Some of the cooler highlights were the office basketball course, the candy bar, the wall of working nooks called the “Cheese Wall” and the hilarious meeting room names (ranging from Bigfoot to Batman).
My day started off with an introduction to the online advertising industry by Zach Kwartler ‘11 of Global Services. AppNexus is yet another layer in the complicated web of publishers and advertisers, but because of its intuitive advertising control platforms and excellent positioning, it has been able to grow immensely since its founding in 2007 by two Princeton alumni. Then I shadowed Zach in the morning and sat in on a conference call. It was interesting to see how professionals representing different parties negotiate and come to effective solutions.
After lunch with AppNexus Princeton alumni (including the CEOs Brian O’Kelly ‘99), I got to shadow a member of the Sales team. In a conference call I sat in on, different members for various parts of the company debated how to address client concerns while keeping AppNexus interests alive, and came to an incredibly thoughtful and nuanced position. This was an incredibly interesting experience
Finally, I concluded the day with a third shadowing session, again with a member of Global Services. This individual was much more senior and really explained the online advertising industry in a way that made it so understandable and interesting to me.
My final impression of AppNexus is that it is full of intelligent, thoughtful people who do not take themselves too seriously. Integrating fun with work creates a relaxed atmosphere where everyone is productive, but also happy. I loved my day at AppNexus and thank Princeton Career Services for organizing such a great program.