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"Find a Place of Personal Happiness at Your Job"

World Ready Alumni - Q&A with Tim Neunzig, MA '10

Tim Neunzig, MA '11

March 22, 2016

Working at Facebook is an everyday pleasure for Tim Neunzig, who grew up in Germany and attended the University of Alabama before entering the Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance (MA) program at Brandeis International Business School (IBS). From campus jobs to study abroad experiences to internships, Tim maximized his time at the business school with activities that built skills for a successful and exciting career. 

We’ll start with the burning question. How did you get a job at Facebook? 

My first job after graduating from Brandeis IBS was as an SEM analyst at TripAdvisor. Someone at Facebook met the SEO director for TripAdvisor at a conference and was impressed – and before I knew it, everyone who was in Search was being contacted by Facebook. I moved across the country to work for them. I am currently a lead on the growth marketing team, which means I lead the monetization side and work directly with the ads product teams. There’s a lot of data analysis and visualization, on top of using those insights to promote product changes, leading brainstorms and doing project management. A big highlight is working on projects that drive huge impact for the company – such as the “boost post” button. 

It goes to show that who you know really does matter. Let’s talk about who you knew at Brandeis IBS. Who influenced you the most? 

Professor Canella, for sure. His class on financial modeling was probably the most valuable one I took. He taught me that my data analysis only has to convince my manager stakeholders. It was enlightening. From there, I never worried about being the most scientific as long as my work and my conclusions made logical sense.

What about internships? Did you learn anything on the job that ultimately influenced your career path? 

I studied abroad at Erasmus University in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. While I was there, I worked at a startup recruiting company, which was very different from my summer internship. In the summer before my study abroad, I interned with the internal management consulting agency Deutsche Bahn (railway), and it taught me that I hated wearing suits to work every day and helped me figure out which fields I didn’t want to be in. I had a similar experience with my classes at Brandeis. Some semesters were better than others, but once I figured out what was interesting to me, I was able to get the most out of my experience. 

What were the most impactful aspects of your time at Brandeis IBS? 

It was a challenging and rewarding experience. I learned a lot working with fellow students from all over the world. I also worked on campus at the Center for German and European Studies, which was a great way to be more involved in the greater Brandeis community. 

What advice do you have for students about to graduate into the working world? 

Find a place of personal happiness at your job; it can be very stressful if you aren’t grounded. Be true to your authentic self, know your strengths and know what you are truly about. Taking a self-assessment like the Enneagram really helped me find my true self.