“How did you hear about us?” That’s the most common question people ask me at LiveRamp. And I guess that’s a fair question; I don’t think someone from my country, or even from South America, had applied before I did. The answer to the question is great too, since I found out about LiveRamp just by doing a Google search for “software internship winter”, as simple as that.
I’m from Santiago, Chile, studying Computer Science at Universidad de Chile. I wanted to get an internship abroad, and I was aiming for San Francisco. Why? Well, my main goal was to grow and internationalize my career, and San Francisco is one of the best places to achieve that.
Of course, LiveRamp was not the only company I applied for, but it was one of the few that gave me the opportunity after knowing that I was not a student in the US.
After going through the hiring process and finally being accepted, I had to apply for a visa (J1). It was definitely a headache — mainly paperwork — but LiveRamp’s recruiting team was always willing to help, so that made everything easier.
My first day at LiveRamp was also the first day of what they call a “HackWeek”. The idea of HackWeek is to work on something that is not related to your everyday work but that you think could improve LiveRamp. It may sound just like a fun week, and it is fun, but in fact it’s way more important than that. A lot of the core products LiveRamp offers (including the idea for LiveRamp itself!) start as HackWeek projects.
After HackWeek, things went back to normal. I went to the same trainings and I was told that I was expected to do the same work as a new hire, even though I was there as an intern. I was introduced to the team I was going to be working on: Offline Matching. One of the many things the Offline Matching team does is maintain an identity graph, a graph in which each connected component represents an entity and each node corresponds to certain information of the entity (e.g., email, zipcode, etc). As you can guess, this graph constantly changes, because new match data may be added or removed. The problem was that at the time, there was no way to measure how good/bad these changes were for the overall graph. That’s why my first project was to get different stats out of this graph. To accomplish this, I worked mainly with a Hadoop framework called “Cascading”, one of the main frameworks used in the Offline Matching team. My work is now part of a bigger process that gets executed every time match data is modified. Important decisions are being made based on what the stats show, proving to me that my work is really something valuable for LiveRamp.
Also, there are a few great things beyond work: team lunch, happy hours, sports (soccer team!) and more!
Overall, it has been an awesome experience; I have learned a lot, it feels like people really enjoy what they are doing, everyone is always willing to help, and it is clear that they want you to get something out of the internship.