Golden opportunity

Skyllar Duncan goes to San Francisco


Skyllar Duncan

While in San Francisco, Skyllar Duncan was able to also visit some of the famous sites like the Golden Gate Bridge. Duncan was in San Francisco job shadowing her dad.

by Skyllar Duncan, Guest Writer

Two weeks ago seniors from all around LISD were given the chance to do week long internships at jobs all around the state, country and world. This week is called COOL week and was implemented to allow seniors to learn about jobs they are possibly interested in for after college. This way they could get a small taste of these careers which would give them a better idea if they actually do want to pursue these jobs. During this week we will be featuring columns from several seniors who participated in COOL week. Here is Skyllar Duncan’s:

In today’s society we are constantly surrounded by the use of technology as it improves and advances in ways that weren’t fathomable 40 years ago. My generation has grown up with technology as an everyday occurrence and we have watched as it shapes the way people live. Technology is something that has always interested me as I have been exposed to it growing up due to my dad, who is a Software Engineer and is the current  Director of Software Engineering at Integral Ad Science (IAS). For my COOL week experience, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit an IAS branch office in San Francisco to experience the environment of the workplace as well as learn the specific roles of several of his coworkers in the ad technology field.

IAS works to accommodate the desires and needs of their customers who want to post advertisements for their company to help Advertisers target the most efficient and effective business approach and strategies. To accomplish this, several factors are looked into, which are viewability, brand safety, and fraud prevention. The process is very detailed-oriented; ads are posted on websites, advertisers pay each time their ad is loaded on a webpage, called an impression, however, IAS records the load count, plus what was actually seen to better help advertisers optimize their ad campaign. To ensure that the company doesn’t have to pay every time the webpage is opened, IAS creates a program that ensures the company only has to pay when the ad actually crosses the viewers screen. This refers to the viewability aspect of this job. Brand safety ensures that if the company doesn’t want their ad associated with a certain theme or idea that could hurt their product, it will not appear on a page that is associated with this. For example, a lot of companies don’t want their ads on websites associated with alcohol or violence.  Or, an ad for an airline would not want to be on the same site as an article about a plane crash. And lastly, fraud prevention keeps hackers across the world from creating code that counters viewability, enabling them to make a large sum of money on impressions. My dad specifically oversees these processes and makes sure each of the projects are satisfactory and efficient for customers. His coworkers do a variety of things as well, from managing the process, Project Management, to doing the actual coding.

This experience was very valuable as I am interested in this type of work and I am considering a position in this field. Being exposed to the workplace helped to introduce me to the type of people I would be working with, as well as the environment I would constantly be surrounded by. It was also very insightful as I was told the requirements of this field and what would be expected of me if I were to become a part of this company, or one similar. I learned while interviewing various executives at IAS that life has a way to change course from the time you enter college to present day and that a career in ad tech is filled with exciting and well-rounded individuals.

And of course being in San Francisco for COOL week meant indulging as a tourist in my spare time, such as walking the Golden Gate Bridge, hanging out on Pier 39, and a treat at Ghirardelli Square. My daily commute to the IAS office involved riding a historic cable car each day and experiencing the beauty of the city life in San Francisco.  The experience overall was beneficial and fun as it helped me to better plan for my future and I enjoyed my time there.