If opportunities don't knock, build a door - the Journey of a team member
September 2017, Germany. I am 21 and full of mixed feelings, my goal is to get a master’s degree in International Business and in the meantime to make a life in a new environment. At that time my background was represented just with bachelor’s degree in International Economics and several short internships in Ukraine.
Being a foreigner, it is difficult to adequately assess your own capabilities in a work context. One was clear, I needed to have an ace in the hole and to play it in the right moment. Being familiar with programming and web design basics I decided to deepen my knowledge and get some hands-on experience as a software tester which subsequently helped me to get where I am now.
Starting from spring 2018 I was actively trying to settle on the labour market in Germany. To be completely honest, it was a time full of excitements and doubts. Young people could understand - you want to do something that matters in the field you have been studying before, but experience requirements raised by companies play against you.
My story with the PP began in summer 2018 when I applied for internship in Marketing and when a few days later I got a nice response I already knew IT IS GONNA LEAD SOMEWHERE! After several rounds of interviews, getting acquainted with the company and people it was dawn to me that this place was exactly what I had been searching for, all my previous activities, interests and knowledge finally formed in one picture. We signed a contract.
For now, I can say it for sure, the sincere desire multiplied to ability to learn can be a huge advantage.
Peak & Peak Time
The high level of trust and responsibility that the company is ready to impose even on the interns surprised me a lot, so I became a member of a Team since the very beginning.
By the end of the first week I was invited to a meeting with an important client in Hamburg, a month later I visited a huge digital marketing exhibition, followed by onsite meetings and trainings with clients. Company was also interested in fostering my expertise in Salesforce Marketing Cloud application with which I actually work on a daily basis, so I also managed to pass several important certifications and get valuable knowledge.
In Peak & Peak, you will not find a textbook hierarchy structure. You are not being given commands, but rather direction. You do not a cog, you contribute and can influence the decision making and hence the end result. There is no coercion to do what you do not like, your role is not strictly predefined, it can be negotiated. For example, we have a guy in our team who started as Marketing Analyst, but afterwards he switched to the Efficiency Unit and now is working as Business Analyst just because it better suits his personality and skills.
What is of outmost importance, your opinion has weight here. Any ideas can be expressed directly to the management. Recently, some guys from our team noticed that our monthly Team Events require rethinking and different approach. They shared their ideas with the management and received an immediate approval! Now we have more dynamic time spent together and chance to see each other in completely different environment.
Such employer attitude demonstrates an appreciation of you as an individual and stimulates working even more efficient.
Organization is first of all people. So now you can just imagine what kind of people work here. They are treasure of the company. Everyone comes from different background which boosts the cooperation, since you can always count on a sensible advice and get to know various and valuable point of views. Despite the fact that the team is quite young, guys are really professionals in their fields, and working with such people is a pleasure.
Any work interaction between colleagues is being agreed. If someone needs, say, to take my time for half an hour to discuss the details of the project - they agree with me in advance on a convenient time which really helps staying concentrated on the task.
It is difficult to describe that, because there are completely different tasks might appear even during one day – now you are working on the creation of a data model, then you need to work with html code on a landing page for internal upcoming event and afterwards you appear yourself testing a customer journey for Newsletter. You need to be flexible and wisely allocate your time.
Worth to mention, initially, my responsibilities were limited just to Marketing Cloud application, but recently, many internal projects were initiated, so basically, I got an opportunity to be at the origins of many processes and get insights of project handling way before the simple executional stage (no, it is not simple at all!). You can learn tools and theory at university but the real experience comes only from practice. and I really enjoy it! You just need to be open-minded and take the options you are being given or to take them proactively.
I also enjoy the freedom in actions that I have been provided with. You don’t need to report for each step, you are free to make different interpretations, of course to the point they are justified. If there is a challenge, just take it, try to overcome and find the best solution, if you need help, you can always count on it.
Work vs Studying
I started working during semester break as an intern and continue as a working student. In principle, it was not a problem to juggle study and work, since it is ALWAYS possible to find a compromise solution. Won’t pretend, during the exam period, I was a bit under stress, but it was not a problem to take a day-off, since everyone has understanding towards your situation and you get real support.
Coping with stress
And of course as a human being with an innate perfectionism I stress from time to time. I remember my first internal meetings, I was so nervous that I could say something wrong and therefore it was not easy to start expressing myself even if I had some ideas. During brainstorming I could bring up just a couple of points, but nevertheless my project lead has been always noticing everything and cheering me up. Such tiny details are making me feeling appreciated and more motivated to work on myself.
What I understood - it is normal to doubt sometimes, worry that you can make a mistake. The main thing that covers all fears – the sense of belonging and happiness of being in your place. Hence you just need to continue.
And so do I.
Nothing appears out of nothing, be ready to apply some efforts and reward is will be waiting for you!
Today Anna is working as a full time consultant within our Customer Experience unit.