Outbrain Culture

From Intern to Team Lead: Career Development at its Finest

Olivia Ordonez
Olivia Ordonez

Many of us start our career journey as interns. It is a cool way to begin building your resume and learn from more seasoned professionals. However, it’s not very common to stay at the same company and develop your professional path from intern to manager. In my case, that’s exactly what I did!

I joined Outbrain as an Account Manager Intern back in 2014 in New York City.  I always knew I wanted to do something in the creative field, but realistically something with a business focus. I went to college to study Mass Communication and Advertising. It proved to be the perfect blend of both worlds! The program was designed to prime graduates to work at a creative agency – it covered market research, account planning, account services, media planning, creative execution, art direction, and more. I broke the mold there and went the ad tech route instead. Best decision ever.

Always learning with a clear purpose. 

If you ask any Outbrainer what we like most about Outbrain, the majority of us will say the people, the mission and the culture! Honestly, we have a culture of inclusion, trust, and constant learning – it’s what truly makes our workplace special.

When I look back and think of my first lesson at Outbrain, I very early learned that the connections you make matter most, and to be a sponge and ask a ton of questions! The more engaged you are, the more you’re going to get out of each professional experience. When I joined Outbrain, the company was still in many ways a startup. I wanted to be part of the growth process, together with the amazing people I’ve met along the way. Our leaders truly believe and embody the notion that a good idea can come from anywhere, which in many ways is a startup mindset. As we’ve grown as a company, our leadership team has not let this spirit fade. I continue to want to contribute to this, day in and day out, bring new ideas to the table, and work toward our mission.

Leading with passion.

Managing a team is a fun challenge! You really get to know individuals on a deeper level. The biggest challenge for me at first was stepping away from the day to day client management, and navigating building close professional relationships with the team – to understand how each person works, help refine their skills, and learn how to bring people together to build each other up.

As the team’s individual careers develop, it brings me great joy to have witnessed them on their journey, and hopefully to have helped them along the way.

We make memories together.

We do indeed. And there are too many memories to count! As part of an Account Manager Development program, I was sent to our Israel office (our engineering headquarters) along with several other account managers from our global offices. The purpose was to get a peek under the hood of our technology and learn from the engineers that built the Outbrain platform. I will forever be grateful for that experience, the wealth of knowledge and connections I built during that week. And one time at a global company offsite in Tenerife, we went to a banana tree plantation for dinner and all sat at one long table that spanned an entire row between the banana tree palms – all 850 of us – at ONE table! It was unforgettable, as are so many of the experiences of working – and developing a career – at Outbrain.

Considering building a career with us? Check out our open positions.

Olivia Ordonez

Olivia Ordonez

Olivia is the Team Lead for the US Growth and Brazil Account Management teams. Based in NYC, Olivia is originally from Dallas, Texas. In her free time, you'll find her practicing her photography skills, testing new recipes, or searching for the best skyline views.