Working at Swappie – 2,5 months spent at a startup in Helsinki

My way of finding an internship was a bit unusual. In July 2018 while searching for internship positions, I was still living in Sweden and felt unsure what would happen after my 6-month part-time / summer job would end. I was searching positions from both Finland and in Sweden, and it was time consuming to fill out applications and write personalized cover letters for every applied position. 

I decided to step out of my comfort zone and think about something that other people were already doing – posting a video application to LinkedIn. You can check out mine from my LinkedIn profile. It took a lot of courage to post the video and it was even scarier to post it in English!  

Well, it really paid off. My video gained almost 12,000 views, over 100 likes, insightful conversations and multiple job offers! One of the offers came from Sami who is the CEO and co-founder of Swappie. “We might have something” he said, and for the next day we set up a meeting to discuss further on about their needs. After a few meetings, Swappie offered me an internship within customer service and HR. 

Swappie is an online start-up company that sells refurbished iPhones. They also have a physical store in Ruoholahti, Helsinki. All the phones Swappie sell are personally tested by Swappie’s own employees with a 52-step technical check. In case there is something wrong with the phone, Swappie will make the necessary repairs themselves. You can also sell your used iPhone to Swappie! More about Swappie can be found on their website. 

During the first weeks of my internship I got to know all the business functions they have, such as supply/demand, packing orders, repairing the phones, working at the store and customer service. After this, I started working in customer service and doing HR related tasks. 

I’ve never worked at a startup before and I have to say that the atmosphere startups have, is something everyone should experience. Each employee is encouraged to find solutions / improve their daily work, and if changes are needed, you can implement them without first taking the suggestion to management and wait for approval. Also, each day at a startup is different and they’re constantly growing. In the beginning of 2018, Swappie had 4 employees. When I visited Swappie’s office in July, there were approximately 25 people and at the end of my internship in November, there are almost 60 people  – what a grow!  

Just to mention few of my work tasks I had during the 2,5 months: daily customer service operations, analyzing customer service data on a weekly basis, conducting an equality planning survey, co-organizing our move into a bigger office, spending a day in IKEA shopping for office stuff, maintaining phones, organizing weekly breakfasts, developing occupational health and safety matters, and packing orders.  

Since I’m not living in Helsinki, it was sometimes tiring to travel between Lahti and Helsinki for work. But honestly the commute wasn’t that bad, because I was genuinely excited to go to work every day – thanks to all the awesome coworkers! I also had the chance to work in the train and some days I worked at home. 

When posting the video on LinkedIn, I would never have guessed what an impact it will have on my future career. During the internship I got a job offer from Swappie, and I’m now working full-time as an Office Manager combined with customer service and HR. We’ll see what the future brings next!

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