We caught up this week with Eric Mischel, our recent placement at Nielsen. We talked to him about his career, onboarding and how he and his team are dealing with the current climate. Congratulations Eric on your new role as Vice President of Product, Digital Advertising!
Tell our readers a bit about how you got to where you are. How would you describe your career path in just a few sentences?
My love for technology began learning to program in BASIC at the age of 10 and in high school learning COBOL, PASCAL, FORTRAN etc. While in college I became the editor of the college newspaper which fused the creative right-side of my brain (journalism and media) with my left-brain (programming and structure). In that role I experienced my first “product launch” converting the paper from a legacy typesetting process to a modern desktop publishing system.
After college, I worked in publishing at McGraw-Hill and Time Inc. supporting editorial systems at People Magazine. I ended up leading a technology team supporting all of People’s brands (People, Teen People, People en Espanol, Real Simple and InStyle). I then moved to Time Inc. Corporate IT and worked on exciting projects like building an enterprise print ad reservation system and combining that with our digital ad reservations into a unified data warehouse.
After Time Inc. I joined Google as a Product Manager and had the opportunity to gain valuable experience working on external products as well as internal initiatives. Post Google I rounded out my product experience working on both the demand-side (DataXu, recently acquired by Roku) and the supply-side Pubmatic). At PubMatic, I managed a portfolio of products encompassing half the product offerings. I then had the opportunity to join two former colleagues at AdRoll (now NextRoll) and assist with a new expansion initiative. I was then recruited for my current role at Nielsen and the rest is history.
Nielsen recently split into two companies, Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Connect. You joined Nielsen in the Media business. Why did you choose Nielsen as the next step in your career?
There are a couple of reasons. First, Nielsen is going through a large transformation. I have always found that change creates opportunities. Rather than be averse to change, I feel we all need to embrace it. Next in interviewing with my current manager, Nikesh Patel, he was looking for someone with a strong background in ad tech who could help his organization adopt best practices for product management and agile to build a best-in-class product organization. I feel fortunate to have had several great mentors, so having the opportunity to pay it forward helping others was important. Equally, the opportunity to help Nielsen continue to define one media truth and bring to market a cross-media currency for the entire industry is amazing, exciting and a big challenge I wanted to be a part of.
These are challenging times. How has your onboarding been different in the time of Covid-19?
Thankfully, I joined Nielsen in mid-February. This enabled me to get a few weeks under my belt before we all began working from home. I had time to establish many relationships face-to-face albeit in a condensed time. Also, we were already a distributed team with most people being based in New York and Tampa. While chats with colleagues are less spontaneous, we have been continuing to stay in touch using video conferencing technology and chat tools. Although I enjoy the shorter commute the camaraderie of an office environment is something, I am looking forward to returning to.
What are you reading, streaming, listening to while social distancing?
I have always been a pretty voracious reader. Currently I have a few titles I am reading simultaneously including: Algorithms to Live By – The Computer Science of Human Decisions; Measure What Matters; The Founder’s Mentality and David McCullough’s Mornings on Horseback which is about Teddy Roosevelt. On the streaming side–I need to start this next season of Ozark and Fauda.