Startups have a very particular atmosphere and working at one is entirely unlike working anywhere else. Because of what we do, we come into contact with a lot of exciting, fresh companies. To give job seekers a better insight we thought we’d showcase some of our favourites and show what it’s like to work at a startup.
As well as talking to OptioPay recently, I also spoke to Judith Mathes. Judith recently finished a Business Development internship at OptioPay, which she found through StartupCVs. I wanted to get her insights into working there as well as into startup life.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What was your background before you joined OptioPay?
“I studied an interdisciplinary Bachelor in Culture and Economics and besides that always went abroad, either for studying or doing internships while getting to know international cities and different cultures and ways of working,” says Judith.
“I wanted to dive more into the startup scene and get to know all kinds of areas and industries.”
She also tells me how she first became interested in startups after attending a workshop by MakeSense, an organisation which finds solutions to the business, design and tech challenges faced by social entrepreneurs, saying: “This is where I experienced how innovative and creative a diverse group can be and can make a social impact together. From then on, I wanted to dive more into the startup scene and get to know all kinds of areas and industries – so I went to San Francisco.”
“During a six-month internship in Innovation & Strategy Consulting, I got the chance to assess the business models of startups in the latest technology trends such as IoT, connected car, smart home, wearables, food, health and more. During my stay, I also joined many startup events, hackathons, pitches or founder-interviews and got to talk to entrepreneurs who motivated me to work for a startup myself.”
Judith is now studying for a master’s degree in Lisbon and has joined the student organisation “BET – Bring Entrepreneurs Together“. She’s part of a mentoring team that helps entrepreneurs to turn projects into real businesses.
What did you love most about working at OptioPay?
“I loved the team’s drive and passion for the idea of the founders. No matter what, you felt like everyone is giving their best to make this successful,” says Judith. But she is also quick to mention that the team at OptioPay knows how to have fun, too.
“I loved the team’s drive and passion”
“This made it the perfect package to have a great learning curve and a fun and exciting experience at the same time for my internship,” she says. On top of all that she also told me about the infectious optimism and passion of OptioPay’s founders, which meant that the whole team really believed in their idea.
What made you decide to work at OptioPay?
“It was exactly what I was looking for and wanted to become a part of.”
Judith again mentions the company’s founders when answering this question, telling me about the “ambitious and hands-on mentality” expressed by the co-founder she spoke to in her interview. She says: “It was exactly what I was looking for and wanted to become a part of.”
She was offered, and took, the job on the same day as the interview, telling me: “The decision was based on the goals and drive of the team and their working style.”
How did you find using StartupCVs?
Judith was contacted by OptioPay very soon after joining StartupCVs, telling me: “I was excited about how quickly it worked.” She also loved how easy it was to sign up in the first place.
“StartupCVs shows what recruiting should look like.”
According to her: “StartupCVs shows what recruiting should look like in a time when jobs are found via Facebook or LinkedIn. I never went through a traditional recruiting process.”
What would be your top tip for other job seekers who want to get a job at a startup?
“Don’t go the usual way.”
Startups are all about finding new ways to tackle problems and Judith thinks the people who work at them should be the same. “Don’t go the usual way,” she says. “Try to think how startups at an early stage work – they mostly don’t have much time and therefore need to have a fast way of finding and hiring people. Social platforms/recruiting platforms are a fast way to reach and scan people.”
“Be ready to perform from day one.”
She also says that you should be clear about what you offer to a potential employer: “For you as a job seeker, it is important to clearly state what skills you can bring, express motivation to take on responsibility and to be ready to perform from day one.”
If you enjoyed reading this, watch out for other articles in our We Know Startups series.
If you found your job through StartupCVs and would like to share your story, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line on [email protected].
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