Last week we introduced you Brigitta, a former Alma Mater’s student who lives now in Amsterdam working for Starbucks as an analyst. Today we will report Guillermo’s experience abroad. He is a Spanish accountant working for Uber in its Amsterdam’s offices. He will help us to understand what is like to work in a foreign startup’s environnement.
Luigi: How did you find this job and why do you think they chose you ?
Gugliemo: I found this job through LinkedIN. I believe they appreciated my international experience, working and studying. I did my Erasmus in Budapest and then decided to stay there for studying a Master and working at the same time.
L : What do they look for when they interview you ?
G : A good level of English is mandatory. Afterwards analytical and accounting test to measure my knowledge, and then and the most important, the ability to communicate and defend each question, being confident is the best advice I would give.
L : More in general, how do you think they choose the right people to hire ?
G : When you are at the interview, everything needs to be perfect, if you have a small mistake for whatever reason, you will realize about it and many times get nervous. During the interviews, luckily I could drive the situation, and when you feel that, then you become more confident. After the interviews I knew it was successful.
L : How working for a startup is different from working in a normal structure ?
G : The best of working for startup is the environment, most of the people are young, smart and passionate, our office is just amazing, we have a ping-pong table, a huge TV with the PS4, a canteen with free food and drinks all day long, and even a nap room. Another advantage of working for a startup is that you « build » the company every day, it is constantly changing and you are part of those changes. The worse of working for an startup is the workload, everything grows very fast and we need to constantly adapt, it is very common working long hours reaching even 18 hours of work in 1 day.
L : Do you think that startup models are the future of the entrepreneurial activity ?
G : I believe this will be the future as more and more new companies are appearing and the competition is becoming so fierce that everyone needs to create or inovate very fast before someone does it first. I am afraid because the work – life balance is not so good, they make you feel so good inside the company that you don’t mind working more as you feel responsible of your tasks. Companies take advantage of this and will give you more and more until you push back.
L : What would you suggest to someone whose dream is to work for a startup. In what he should specialize himself ?
G : It is very important to be very passionate and motivated, believe and love the product, and of course specialized in a relevant field for the company and dominate English and more languages if possible.
L : Thank’s for your time Guillermo.
G : Thank you Luigi for letting me share my experience with Bologna’s students.