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.
When I visited Kiveda, I also spoke to Erika Preschel. Why did I speak to Erika? Because Kiveda actually hired Erika through our platform and I wanted to get her thoughts on StartupCVs, Kiveda and startups in general. So, without further ado…
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s your background?
“I studied International Business. I studied in this programme that is two years in France and two years in another country. I spent two years studying in Germany and learnt German in that time.” Then she did an internship in Berlin.
“I really liked Berlin. Afterwards, I did another internship in Australia for six months. That was great but I really wanted to come back to Berlin.” She also told me that she used the time in Australia for learning English. After she arrived back in Berlin she was very careful about her job search. She tells me that she wanted to find exactly the right role. That ended up being in Kiveda’s marketing team.
What do you love most about working at Kiveda?
“The best thing is that you can have any idea, you can propose anything and you are taken seriously. It’s very innovation-focused,” she says. She also likes the fact that she has a lot to do and works on a wide variety of marketing channels.
“You can have any idea, you can propose anything and you are taken seriously.”
“I wanted a job where I could see the big picture,” she says. “That was really the main problem when I was looking for a job.” But she has found that at Kiveda. She also likes the mixture of people at the company. Like most Berlin startups, it’s very international but she also likes the range of experience represented in the team.
“We have two kinds of people. We have kitchen professionals who are experts in their domain and we have dynamic, startup-driven people who are experts in theirs. It’s a really interesting mix of knowledge. That’s a really nice atmosphere.”
What do you love most about startups? What do you think is the biggest difference from conventional companies?
“I really, really wanted to work in a startup,” Erika says immediately, going on to explain: “I think in a bigger company you have a lot of rules and processes that are supposed to make things more efficient but that actually make things too complicated.”
“[In a bigger company] you have more people contributing less.”
“The main difference is what an individual can do and an individual can contribute. [In a bigger company] you have more people contributing less.”
She also tells me that, before starting her job hunt, she wasn’t sure whether to pursue a master’s degree or to start working. In the end, she chose work, but, she says, “I’m still learning. You can really do that in a startup.”
What would be your top tip for other job seekers who want to get a job at a startup?
“You can’t sit there and wait for someone to tell you what to do.”
“You have to be able to take initiative. You can’t sit there and wait for someone to tell you what to do,” Erika says. She also says that you need to be good at working with other people, saying: “You can’t have processes for everything, so it’s just about working with people and making things happen.”
How did you find using StartupCVs?
When I ask her about how she discovered StartupCVs, she laughs and says “That was pretty funny. I was looking for a job, so I was going on websites. I found StartupCVs were looking for someone.” While she decided that role wasn’t for her, StartupCVs itself interested her, so she signed up.
Not long afterwards, Kiveda got in touch. Erika remembers going into the interview with a good feeling.
“You are in a different position. They came to you.”
“What was really cool that I remember about that was, going to the interview I felt a lot different than going to another interview. Because you are in a different position. They came to you. I knew it was an equal thing. So it was just about seeing if it fits. I remember not feeling any pressure at all.”
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 in our We Know Startups series, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line on [email protected].