Nikhil is from New York and is currently working for a Finnish startup called Tribe Studios. Recently graduated from NYU and being part of Lean Startup Machine, he decided to pack is bags and step into the unknown. After all, that’s how you learn the most.
Why I Chose a Startup in Finland
This summer I have the immense pleasure of working for Tribe Studios, a Finnish video game development studio. Tribe Studios is working on Dramagame, their first video game. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn how businesses are run pre-revenue, and how the different aspects of business blend together.
Having graduated from New York University, it was very likely that I’d end up working in New York City. In fact, I chose the university for its reputation in placing students into large investment banks. So how did I end up in Helsinki? Well, somewhere along the line I was bitten by the startup bug and knew that I needed to forge my own path. But there’s a delicate balance involved. While I didn’t want to join a large corporation and take on a highly specialized function, I also didn’t feel ready to start my own company. Cue the Startup Life internship. There’s a growing culture of entrepreneurship here and I’ve learned a tremendous amount. Here are just a handful of the lessons.
1) No job is too big
One of my first tasks here was helping to redesign the landing page of the website. I’m not a web designer, I was a business student. I felt completely out of my element at first, but you don’t have the luxury of passing off work to someone else in a startup. You either sink or swim. By browsing through blogs, my favorite websites, and recommendations I came up with a general flow of how the website should work in order to interest potential customers.
2) No job is too small
Part of my job includes customer communication. This means responding to every feedback ticket we get from our beta testers. It’s not a fun job, but it needs to be done. Early adopters need to feel like their voices are heard. If that means I need to check the feedback every night and thank people for their help, so be it.
3) You learn by doing
I studied finance and accounting and use absolutely zero percent of what I learned in class. What I do remember is material I had to teach myself at other internships and my own attempt at a startup. Textbooks are irrelevant. Talking is irrelevant. You either do something or you don’t. If you need to do something, you better learn how to do it.
What this all really boils down to is confidence. You need to have the courage to try something new and accept that failure is an option and a vital part of learning. Startups provide the opportunity to learn different fields, and you will not always be perfect. But if you become comfortable trying new things, you’ll learn so much more than if you worked a generic desk job. I consider this internship a valuable investment in myself and my professional career.