An Unconventional Path to Finding the Right Job

Sushanth Bhaskarabhatla, C’12

My experience finding my job was a bit unique and less straightforward compared to that of many of my peers, so I thought it would be worth sharing to other students as an anecdote.

Though many of my friends received job offers through OCR during their senior year, I did not formally go through OCR since I was working on my own start-up at the time. It turned out to be very useful, though, for me to attend the Penn Engineering Career Fair (open to College students), where I met folks from AppNexus and other tech companies. Later, I had two phone interviews with them in September of my senior year and then put the process on hold. Once I finished working on my start up a few months ago, I got back in touch with the folks from AppNexus that I met.

Sending one thoughtful email re-establishing that connection and describing my experience over the past year and why I was interested in their company had a much stronger impact than dozens of resumes I was dropping at the time. I want to thank Career Services because the initial Career Fair helped me laid the seeds of a job offer that I did not receive until over a year later.

I am now a Technical Account Manager at AppNexus, where I work with 3rd party developers to make apps for our clients in the advertising industry to use. The work combines both business and technical aspects in an exciting and growing start-up and industry. I never would have found this opportunity, however, if I had beelined for what I thought at the moment was the right job.

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Day in the Life: Sales Engineer at AppNexus

If you have a passion for technology and business, you’ll want to follow our next alum on @PennCareerDay, Andrew Lenehan.  On Tuesday, December 4th, Andrew will talk about his career as a Sales Engineer with AppNexus, where they are “setting the standard for excellence in ad technology and helping the largest and most innovative companies in online advertising build their businesses.”  Read more about Andrew’s background below and remember to follow him after the Thanksgiving holiday!

Andrew graduated from Penn’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology with a BS in Economics (Marketing / Finance) and a BAS in Computer Science. He moved to New York to join the consulting team of a digital ad agency called Rosetta (since purchased by Publicis), where he worked with a phenomenally talented team within their Healthcare vertical. While he loved his time at Rosetta, he aspired to eventually try his hand at his own entrepreneurial venture, and wanted to gain some first hand experience in helping to build a company. Two years ago, Andrew switched industries into the advertising technology space to work for a startup called AppNexus, which provides companies like Rosetta with the cutting edge technology necessary to thrive in today’s digital media industry.

Andrew’s career focus also changed, from solving strategic business problem, to complex technical ones as a Support Engineer. With a solid technical foundation to build on, he wanted to shift into a more client-facing role and moved over to AppNexus’s Sales Engineering team. A Sales Engineer is responsible for qualifying and amplifying deals with prospective clients, acting as somewhat of a technical advisor to all parties involved. It has afforded him the ability to speak with executives from hundreds of companies, from early-stage startups to household names, and accelerated his professional growth significantly in a relatively short amount of time.He has loved his experience at AppNexus so far, and look forward to helping this market-making company continue to evolve in the coming years.