From suits to flip flops: Zhuo’s employee story
Posted Dec 11, 2018
Zhuo Sun is a long-standing member of our Integrations Team here in Berlin. As Team Lead, he helps handle all internal and external technical support queries - from integrating new partners to dashboard development.
Coming from a more corporate environment, Zhuo found greater freedom, flexibility and challenges at Adjust. And, in our latest employee story, he’s here to tell us exactly what he enjoys most about working here.
Could you tell us a little about your background, and what brought you to Adjust?
I came to Adjust with a communications engineering background. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in China and a master’s degree at RWTH Aachen, I worked in Duisburg, in the northwest of Germany, as a software engineer. I was working in mobile network technology - writing code for base stations in charge of 3G LTE, and working on research for 4 and 5G.
I moved to Berlin in May 2014 to follow my wife who was already living here at the time. Although I didn’t come from the mobile advertising industry, I saw that Adjust was looking for Chinese-speaking Account Managers, and decided to apply. The interview process was great: it progressed quickly, and I met a lot of the team I’d soon join.
Coming from a more traditional, corporate company, I turned up to the first interview in a suit - but almost everyone else was in flip flops and t-shirts. It was a totally different environment to what I was used to.
During the interview process, Adjust actually opened an Integration Engineer position - and we came to the mutual decision that it would be a better fit for my skill set. I was delighted to accept the offer, since it fitted in well with my career goals too.
What were your first impressions of the company?
Immediately I could see that Adjust was a really dynamic and exciting place to work. We were only 40 employees when I joined, but already there was this international vision and ambitious plans to grow. Four years later, and Adjust now counts over 250 employees. It’s been incredible to see all the new faces coming in.
I was also the first Chinese person to join the team. At the time, Adjust was starting to explore the Chinese market. Fast forward to today, and we now have a team of almost 20 people based in Beijing and Shanghai. We’re actually hiring for several new roles in Beijing.
In the Berlin office itself, there’s a group of about 10 or so of us from China spread across departments. We get together regularly to celebrate events like Chinese New Year or Mid-Autumn Festival. We also organized a dumpling night for the entire office, and had a small production line going to assemble all the dough, meat and vegetables.
What do you love about your job? What's challenging?
Another big difference is that everyone’s opinion here matters. Company structure isn’t just defined by the management board, and you’re free to share opinions or define goals. There’s also a real family spirit, with lots of socials and company events to join - that gives you plenty of opportunities to get to know people.
I love the freedom and flexibility in the company, too. I became a dad in August 2016, and the support I got from the team during that time was amazing. During the first year, I could decide on the working hours that best suited my family - and I also decided not to travel so I could stay home.
What’s sometimes challenging is the amount of travel needed. Our Integrations Team is spread across our offices, so I travel to the US, Japan, and to China several times a year. I love connecting with our teams there and teaching at Adjust’s Mobile School, but it can be tiring. Luckily, Adjust is super flexible: I’m free to travel when it fits me best. Earlier in the year, I also went to Beijing on a work trip with my family - and it’s little things like this that help me balance work and family life.
What would you say to someone thinking about applying to Adjust?
I want to address my answer particularly to those coming from an engineering background. Being an engineer is pretty hard - and often, there’s no real career progression. You could still be doing nothing but coding, day in, day out, when you’re 55.
But if you come to Adjust with an engineering background, there’s a very bright road for you to go down. You’ll still improve your core programming skills, but you also have the chance to develop many more: from project management to softer ones like communicating with clients or networks. You’ll broaden your horizons and realize that you can grow your skillset in so many different ways.