Translating my Military Experience to My Work at Nielsen

Ameyon is a program manager based in our Global Technology and Innovation Center in Oldsmar, Fla. Ameyon started his career at Nielsen as a technical field representative and later grew into his current role on our Technology and Engineering team. Before joining Nielsen, Ameyon served as a Multi-channel Transmission Systems Operator in the U.S. Army.

My introduction to Nielsen is a story that I tell often to current students and mentees in hopes that it will motivate them. I started my career in corporate America after being in the military. The transition to corporate America was hard because it’s a battle of wills to my mindset. But I persevered, and I took on my first role at a company in Raleigh, N.C.

Eventually, I found myself seeking something different. I saw the technical field representative position on a popular job site at the time. I knew of Nielsen through the Nielsen ratings, but I had never met anyone who participated. But I saw the perks of having a company phone, car and laptop, as well as the ability to work from home, and I thought it was too good to be true to stumble upon a position that was exactly right for me.

In this role, I visited prospective panelists’ homes asking them to participate in our sample, and also installed the Nielsen equipment that gathers TV viewing data. Eventually, I started to see similarities between the role and the position that I held in the military. I was used to dealing with different personalities in their home environments when I was a stranger. I was able to meet and connect with people of all different backgrounds, which helped me see up close how we represent everyone in our samples.

I could have easily looked at my responsibilities as just another job, but I felt like I was learning something everyday either about Nielsen business, technology, consumer electronics, or just people in general so I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. Then the DVR came to market after the successful run of TIVO. The business was changing and I felt the need to get more involved in the field. I worked with other technical field representatives to solve new challenges that came from changes in the media industry, train new people, and assist other areas with any leftover tasks. I then started to feel I was ready to advance. I applied for an opportunity to move into my current role on the Engineering team and was extended an offer. I was a little intimidated by the skill and expertise of my new teammates, but my upbringing, experience in the military, the field, and my technical school degree helped my confidence. In this role, I am accountable for measuring the quality improvements that went into the technology that helped Nielsen win their first Emmy, and since then, we have won more awards.

In my new role in Engineering, I was tasked with validating equipment that is being used by our engineers. I was responsible for quality and process improvements, which were adopted by our teams overseas. I set up testing labs for our teams internationally, which allowed me to visit other regions around the world. These trips were personally enlightening and professionally rewarding. In my time since, I have worked on groundbreaking apps, revolutionary neuroscience projects and led big data projects. I’ve also become a patented inventor!

I believe that whatever success I’ve had in my career grew out of my experience as an equipment installer in panelists’ homes. My family and the people involved in my early life raised me, the military gave me a different respect for discipline, but Nielsen and my colleagues encourage me to bring my whole self to work. One of my former supervisorswho I consider a mentorshared a message with me that applies well to my story: “Follow your opportunity and apply your passion to it.”