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From the inside

My Criteo Journey: Michal Puchala, Manager, Analytics, Mid-Market & CoE APAC

Posted by Michal Puchala |

Criteo. Big brand in France for sure, but applying for a Business Intelligence Analyst position in the new Barcelona office back in 2015, I had no idea what the company was doing. Just a month after graduating with a Master’s Degree in Finance and Investments, I was mostly looking for jobs in consulting, insurance and other safe bets. A French tech company sounded interesting for sure, but if you told me that 5 years later I would still be in Criteo, in Japan and managing a team of 5 different nationalities, I’d have a hard time believing you.

Back in Barcelona, it didn’t take much time to convince me it was a great fit. Stepping out of the elevator on the 24th floor of Torre Mapfre and seeing the city beach from above; meeting with the team, before I even joined, for tapas and beers; working with 20+ nationalities in a start-up vibe of the newly created Mid Market team – it was much more then I was looking for. Add almost unlimited opportunities to learn new skills – and learn I had to, joining with barebones SQL and some basic notions of programming in R – and from the get go, my crazy ride with Criteo started.

sunset in Dubai

The team has evolved a lot over the 5 years since then. The Mid Market Analytics went from 5 analysts in 3 offices to about 30 in 6 locations, with many data analysts and scientist in other teams as well. We moved from playing around with basic SQL queries and VBA macros to deploying PySpark jobs on internal cloud servers and working closely with R&D teams on Machine Learning predictive algorithms. I’m not sure I’d get the job today with the skills I had back then, to be honest – Data Science has made progress since 2015 and some Python in your toolbox is basically a must have. I’m glad we still put a lot of emphasis on continuous learning through Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, internal coaches and external sessions. At the end of the day, Criteo values everyone’s individual potential and does a great job at providing the tools and resources for growth and success.

What that means too is the mobility that comes with investment in talent. There’s plenty of people who changed teams or moved locations within the team. Sales person becoming a manager in Technical Solutions? Data analyst from Sao Paulo becoming a lead developer in Boston? There are even programs dedicated to mobility that allow people to work from another office for several weeks or change teams and experience working in another department. I had the opportunity to take advantage of this approach – I switched between data analytics and internal platforms development, I worked temporarily from several of Criteo offices and most impactfully: I permanently relocated to Tokyo last year. Taking such a big step, it was really reassuring to get strong support from Criteo all along.

What hasn’t changed much since I joined is the company spirit. What surprised me the most is how deeply international Criteo is. The HQ might be in Paris, but you definitely don’t have to be French to make it in Criteo. Our culture is really open and inclusive. Having worked with people from all around the world, I never lost the feeling of community; especially in the analytics team, which relies on global projects and collaboration. With some offices hosting only one or two analysts there’s really no way around it – you have to team up with people in different locations. And it’s great! Especially on the occasions when we all do get together, like the legendary Criteo Summits of the past or the present annual Kick Offs, when hundreds of people gather to get some precious facetime.

group of people

So here I am, 5 years later. A Polish finance graduate, who dreamt of making it big in an investment bank on Wall Street. Managing a data analytics team from Tokyo, working with people in Japan, Korea, India, SEA, Australia…Definitely not what I thought my life would look like, when I decided to give this French Ad Tech company a shot. And I couldn’t be happier with how it worked out.

If you’re like me back in 2015, looking for an exciting opportunity to start your career or make a move to data analytics or ad tech, then don’t hesitate and reach out. Sign up to our Talent Network if you’d like to hear more about the opportunities or join one of our virtual networking events. We hope to see you soon!

Michal Puchala

Analytics Manager

The Future is Yours.

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