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.
We recently received an email telling us “Thank you for the awesome website.” That email was from Julie Murat, who started a new job as Head of Operations at Bridge for Billions (a crowdsourced incubator). And she was thanking us because she found her new job through StartupCVs. Flattered, we were interested to hear more about Julie’s story.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s your background?
Julie is a recent master’s graduate with a keen interest in development and social entrepreneurship in emerging countries. She has spent time either studying or doing internships in China, India and Chile and says that these experiences “really widened [her] vision and interests, and [that she] gradually became passionate about tech for development (mobile banking for instance) and social entrepreneurship.”
While studying in Chile, Julie developed an interest in the startup world after attending a class taught by fellows from Start-Up Chile (a program from the Corfo economic development agency).
After returning to Europe, she worked as an intern at Fairtrade International before joining Bridge for Billions, which she describes as “a virtual incubator for entrepreneurs in developing countries. The platform connects them with corporate volunteers and recreates the typical startup journey through eight business-creation tools. The whole business plan process becomes very understandable and gamified.”
What do you love most about working at Bridge for Billions?
Although she only started at the company very recently, Julie is enthusiastic about its atmosphere, telling me: “I can already feel lots of good energy and high expectations for the months to come.”
As her previous experience would suggest, the social nature of the work at hand also appeals strongly to Julie. It is clear that she believes in what the company is doing and its potential to have a positive impact on the world. She tells me how Bridge for Billions is “democratizing entrepreneurship mentoring for talented people that lack access to resources and networks [which] gathers us around a shared quest for tangible impact.”
What do you love most about startups?
“I love the surprise factor. It’s very exciting not to know what tomorrow will be made of. It pushes us forward, keeps us agile and builds strong links between team members,” Julie says – highlighting something that is commonly seen as differentiating startups from other companies.
What do you think is the biggest difference between startups and conventional companies?
Like many, Julie thinks the difference comes down to the way a company does things, saying: “Regardless of size and seniority, I think the big difference is between companies that continuously innovate and companies that don’t.”
In addition, she sees a certain type of perspective and mindset running through startups, which is perpetuated by the ecosystem around them.
“The startup environment (coworking spaces, frequent networking, persistent need to meet new clients, investors, bloggers etc.) does maintain soft skills, a fresh eye, and an open mind,” she says.
Can you tell us about your experience of using StartupCVs and getting hired by Bridge for Billions? How did you find it?
After her internship at Fairtrade, it took Julie some time to figure out what she wanted to do with the educations and experience she had built up. “Ideas were not clear in my mind, and I was pretty anxious about rigorous hiring processes,” she says.
Julie found StartupCVs at random “and was seduced by its minimalist platform and simple approach to hiring.” She used the platform to reach out to a few interesting startups. Just a few days later, she received a reply from Pablo Sanchez Santaeufemia, the CEO & Founder of Bridge for Billions.
They arranged a Skype call and ended having a long conversation that Julie says felt “very natural.” She immediately had a positive feeling about the company, telling me:
“I was stunned to find exactly what I had been looking for: a scalable social business mixing technology, entrepreneurship in emerging economies, CSR, impact investing, the opportunity to work in English and Spanish, an international team, and so much more.”
After that initial call, the process moved quickly. “Two weeks later I was jumping on a plane to Madrid for a trial week and here I am. It’s as if it was waiting there, one click away,” says Julie.
What would be your top tip for other job seekers who want to work at a startup?
Julie highlights how her experience shows the effectiveness of unsolicited (or open) applications. That is, applying to a company you want to work for even if they are not advertising a particular vacancy that fits your profile.
“Well from my lucky experience I would say that, even if the position you are targeting is not advertised, ask for it! Bridge for Billions had only tech offers when I approached them, but it turned out they did need a business development/operations profile,” says Julie.
If StartupCVs helped you find a job, we’d love to hear from you. Just drop us a line on [email protected].