You all know this stereotypical image of an intern, who has to do the most annoying tasks and often even for free, right? Well, Feelingstream is nothing like that! With these three months, I have spent here, I feel like I have already learned more than in some other place I could during few years. Especially since I started with one goal in my mind and ended up doing a completely different thing.
But, let’s start from the beginning. A few years ago, I decided that it is time for my master’s studies and I moved to Denmark to study Innovation and Business Development (https://international.au.dk/). Somehow things happened in a way, that my plan to stay there for several years, turned into only one when after my first year I already turned back home and decided to do my internship here instead. In a hurry to find a place for an internship I was lucky to meet Terje, one of the founders of Feelingstream, who offered me to do it with them.
From the day I arrived, I was amazed by this tall glass building, where our office is at, having a robot greet you at the entrance and breathtaking views from the top floor meeting rooms. And not just any meeting rooms, you could end up there sitting on swings, in a living room or at Nõmme park. Sounds cool, doesn't it?!
What does it really mean to work in a start-up?
When I finally got my head down from the clouds, it was time to start working. Working here is different from any place I have ever worked before. Even when you are just an intern, from the beginning you are trusted with important tasks. Nobody tells you exactly what to do, instead, they tell what they want to get as a result, but how to get there, this is all up to you. This is no job where you just go in the morning to sit and do your thing for 8 hours, no you really have to pay attention and share your ideas. Me, who has always been told what I should do and how, of course, was a little confused about this approach and felt pretty unconfident about myself at first, mainly because I was working in a field I had no previous experience with and was expected to do something I had never done before. Just to mention, if you haven’t done something before, in Feelingstream this is no obstacle to not do it now.
I have to admit it was quite a challenge for me to adjust to a working style like this, but it is definitely the most effective way to grow and learn. Text analysis is also quite complicated to understand if you are not really familiar with data analysis or other similar skills that come in handy in this field. We even have a joke going around here that when a new person joins Feelingstream, they probably spend most meetings and discussions during the first weeks dreaming about next lunch break, because the specifics are too much to handle all at once.
So, after a bit challenging beginning and admitting to myself that organizing innovation seminars about text analysis isn’t as easy as I thought during the summer, when we wrote down the internship goals, I moved on to other tasks and with every day I started to feel more and more confident to share my ideas and say out loud, what I want to do and not wait until someone tells me what I should do.
As I said earlier, having never done something before, is no reason not to start now. Therefore, even though I came here to do an innovation internship, as a side task we started to develop our social media image. At one point we thought it would be a great idea to make some video material and if you quietly mention that you once have done a video-CV, then voilà, suddenly you are creating animations for our birthday celebration. Fifteen hours of hard work and experimenting and my first ever animation was done! Creating videos really made me smile, so I kept making a few more and some other marketing activities as well until making these actually turned into some of my main tasks. As a person, who used to hate marketing during my first university degree, I have to say I was surprised about this turn of events and discovering this side of myself, so never say never, I guess.
One thing I haven’t talked about yet is the team. I think you could not wish for better people to work together with. There isn’t many of us, seven at most, usually just five at the office every day. I think here applies the rule, less is more. The best thing about having a small collective is that it feels like you are working together with a group of friends. Everyone’s opinion is always included and not only about the thing you are specialized at, but about other things as well. Also, everyone is very supportive of each other, I felt it especially at the beginning when I was just getting started with the new job.
One of my favourite traditions is team lunches, we usually eat together every day. After working in a bigger corporation, where you never knew with whom you will eat out today or who of your friends has made other plans, I think it is a very sweet tradition that here you always have your lunch buddies to discuss important stuff or tell funny stories with over a meal (as a person, who does not like to eat alone, it is very important indeed). Work is a place where you spend the biggest part of your day, so I find it very important to have nice people around you.
To finish this already a very long blog post, I want to say that working in Feelingstream has definitely been one of my favourite jobs so far. These few months have been an interesting journey, I learned a lot about the things I’m not so good at and discovered completely new sides of myself I had no idea of before. Sadly, I’m not going to work in the office daily anymore, but I am more than happy that I can write my master’s thesis about our product and join the out-of-office friend’s circle to keep taking care of our social media.
I encourage every student, who find this a suitable field for themselves, to apply for an internship because it is rare to find a place where you are so welcome to work hands-on every day.