Employee Spotlight Series: Q&A with Mason Halstead

April 26, 2024, 02:04

The brains behind our brand

In the world of Cognitiv, our remarkable team is the driving force behind our continuous progress. Today, we are thrilled to spotlight one of our key players: Mason Halstead, our esteemed Director of Engineering.

As we dive into the latest edition of “The Brains Behind Our Brand,” it’s impossible to ignore Mason’s contributions to our technological landscape. With a blend of expertise, dedication, and an innate ability to tackle challenges head-on, Mason epitomizes the spirit of innovation that defines our company.

Join us as we celebrate our April employee spotlight, Mason Halstead

Pronouns: He/Him

Role: Director, Engineering

Team: Engineering

Cognitiv Tenure: 5 years and 9 months

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in science or machine learning?

We build the user interfaces for client success and data science to use our technology and drive our business efficiently. Our platforms give us insights into each campaign and attempt to simplify a complicated process.

Can you share a bit about your background and how you landed at Cognitv?

I am an entrepreneur at heart and have always been drawn to the path less traveled. Before joining Cognitiv, I attempted to build a social media platform that connected various crowdsourcing platforms. This experience paved the way for me to break into the tech world. I am a self-taught engineer who has spent countless hours studying UI/UX design and various programming languages. 

However, most of my previous jobs were not challenging enough and did not offer the growth opportunities provided by Cognitiv. After joining Cognitiv, I soon realized that my work was impactful, and that gave me a sense of accomplishment.

What is your favorite part of your role at Cognitv?

My favorite part of my role at Cognitiv is the freedom to explore different technologies and the ability to implement ideas. I also enjoy the culture, which is unlike any company I have ever worked for. I think that is the secret to our team’s longevity.

Which of Cognitv’s brand pillars resonates with you the most and why?

“Performance” resonates the most with me because I get to visualize our clients’ campaign results through our Insights portal. It’s amazing to take this huge bucket of data and transform it into a visualization that shows different pockets of performance that normally would never be seen and highlights the AI behind our products.

Can you share an accomplishment or project that you are most proud of from your time at Cognitiv? Tell us about it.

I am proud of our contextual product, Context GPT, because it has become such an innovative part of Cognitiv. We were able to take something conceptually complicated and streamline it through a beautifully designed interface with easy and straightforward controls. This product allows us to drive performance without the need for a cookie and gives us a lot of flexibility for the future at Cognitiv.

Who inspires you the most within the Cogntiv team?

Alex Podschwit because of the mentorship he has provided while working at Cognitiv. We have worked together since I started at Cognitiv, and he has matched my own drive and determination the entire way.

What is the best book you’ve ever read?

The Alchemist

What is one series you’d recommend to a friend?

3 Body Problem

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Luck favors the prepared.

Let’s end with a fun fact! Tell us something unique about you – maybe your Astrology sign, a talent, your favorite vacation spot, etc. 

I have a habit of purchasing domain names that will complement future projects I might want to build. I usually own between 10 and 20 domains at any given time. Each domain represents an idea that has the potential to become something great and it gives me an opportunity to think outside the box.

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