Engineering Intern Spotlight: Alex Harelick, Summer 2015

Engineering

Learn from our challenges and triumphs as our talented engineering team offers insights for discussion and sharing.

Engineering Intern Spotlight: Alex Harelick, Summer 2015

Engineering

If you’re anything like I was, your visit to this website is the first time you’ve heard of LiveRamp. Maybe you’ve looked through a couple blog posts and are still confused as to what we actually do here. Fair enough, but I’m going to tell you why that doesn’t matter. Everyone should have their own priorities during the internship search, but generally you are looking for three things: awesome people, interesting technical problems and a great culture. I can tell you that not all companies in the Bay Area have awesome people. Not all companies will let interns work on interesting technical problems and not all companies that offer free lunches have a great culture. LiveRamp is one of the handful of places that has all three.

When I arrived on my first day there was a handwritten card filled with welcome messages from current employees on my desk. It was a simple gesture, but one that made me feel like I was a part of the family by lunch on my first day. This culture, where everyone was genuinely nice and happy to have me here could be felt through my entire time at LiveRamp.

I spent the first half of my internship on the Online Workflows team. The core job of this team is to maintain the processes that run over a massive graph data store called BANG. My project was to perform statistical analysis on the state of the graph, finding different and interesting distributions to collate into a summary. I don’t think I’ve ever refreshed a site more times than the status page of my first Hadoop job. There’s just something about watching your code inhale terabytes and terabytes of information that causes a smile to creep onto your face.

Halfway through my internship I switched to a more user-facing frontend team. I decided that since I was going to only be here for 12 weeks, I should try and get a taste of every facet of the company. This flexibility allows each intern to personalize their internship. It’s just as easy to do a deep dive in a specific subject as it is to get a wide array of experiences.  

I’m now in the seventh week of my internship and this afternoon I got back from lunch to see a pile of handwritten cards on my desk. They were being passed around and prepared for the new hires who will start over the next couple weeks. See how we’ve come full circle in my internship blog post? Nailed it.

Alex Harelick, Intern Summer 2015
Engineering, Networked & Social Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

Alex Harelick