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Getting to know the ironForce: Brandan Nhan

Meet Brandan Nhan, our Growth Operations Manager in San Francisco. Brandan was the first employee to be hired remotely in San Francisco as a result of the pandemic. Keep reading to get to know Brandan, his role and team at ironSource, and his experience onboarding from behind a computer screen.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what brought you to ironSource.

My name is Brandan Nhan and I’m a Growth Operations Manager based in San Francisco. I am a few years out of college after attending UC Davis, where I studied Managerial Economics (fancy for business).

I learned about ironSource from a good friend of mine (shout out Wendy Chen!), and was most fascinated by the growing tech at ironSource because it meant there was a great opportunity here for me to continue my professional development.

Tell us about your experience looking for a new job opportunity during a pandemic. What’s some advice you would give someone starting their interview process at ironSource?

Looking for a new job opportunity during the pandemic was not an easy feat. However, utilizing the connections I made during college I learned about some pretty cool companies and the opportunities they had to offer. ironSource ended up being the company that enticed me the most, and aligned with the trajectory my career was already heading in.

Some advice I would give to someone starting their interview process at ironSource would be to do your research, get a feel for the company and the space that ironSource is involved in (the mobile technology realm of course). In addition, I definitely recommend inquiring about the specifics of the role that you apply for, so both you and the recruiter are on the same page when discussing if the role is the best fit for you.

If the role you are applying for isn’t exactly what you expected, discuss your interests and expertise, since there may be an opportunity that better aligns with your goals available within the company. Also at the end of the day, don’t be afraid to be yourself during the interview - the ironSource family is awesomely welcoming and the culture here is truly special.

What led you to take the job at ironSource? 

After going through the entire interview process and getting a feel for the type of people that work at ironSource, I knew I had to take this opportunity over the other offers that came my way. Just hearing about the efforts the company goes through in order to maintain the company culture through a pandemic really blew my mind. The role was exactly the type of transition I wanted in my career and the people here are all amazing, definitely a no-brainer in my case.

Can you tell us about your virtual onboarding experience? What’s your advice for someone starting a new job in the virtual world?

The virtual onboarding experience was definitely challenging, and being the first virtual hire added another layer of difficulty. I am definitely the type of person who likes to collaborate with others in-person. However, my teammates and my managers were easily accessible through Slack, which was a great alternative when I had questions about the training or work I was doing. The overall scheduling and pacing of the training were surprisingly very organized and well-timed given that this is a procedure that ironSource had to put together a completely new plan in a short amount of time.

My advice for someone starting a new job in the virtual world is to try to connect with your coworkers even if it may feel awkward and weird at first. There are many avenues the company provides to meet other coworkers, like happy hours, coffee chats, meet and greets, etc. I found it important to take advantage of those, even if it means going that little extra step and putting yourself out there.

What are a few ways you found success in the first 6 months in your new role?

By putting myself in a position where I was able to learn something new. Don’t be afraid to ask questions - as the cliche saying goes “there are no stupid questions.” When you ask questions, you are setting yourself up to learn something you didn’t know before. For example, when coming into the company, the knowledge I had around the mobile tech universe was very limited and simply based on articles I read before coming into the company.

After asking the questions, try to find a task that aligns with what you just learned. I always find it the easiest to retain the information when you propose to take on a project that is based on that new finding. When in an uncomfortable situation where you feel like you don’t know anything, just immerse yourself in as much information as possible.

I’m able to accelerate my knowledge of the company and the work I do just by taking 30 minutes a day before I start work to read an article related to the company and our industry. This can be something published by ironSource or an article related to the mobile tech industry.

Additionally, just expressing the type of work you are interested in, the skills you want to learn, and expressing to your manager things you like vs. things you don’t, always goes a long way. I see it as a two-way street, the work you want to do will be so much more enjoyable and at the same time, the company will benefit from the hard work you put in. If you express the pain points of the tasks that take up your bandwidth, you can work with your manager to find a solution that will free up your time to work on the things you care about. Essentially, don’t be afraid to be transparent with the goals you want to achieve for yourself.

In a few sentences, how would you describe working at ironSource? 

Working at ironSource is truly a blessing and I honestly can’t wait to meet the family in person when this pandemic subsides. It means a lot when I can say these are the type of people I would like to hang out with outside of work, even though I haven’t actually gotten to even shake their hand yet! Looking forward to progressing through my career path with these wonderful people.

Want to learn more about what it's like to work at ironSource? Check out our careers page

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