From Civil Engineering to IT Start-Up

Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Kaspar, I’m 25 years old. I started my career as a civil engineer while also studying it in Tallinn University of Technology. My first three years were intense and interesting but over the years I started getting more into IT. Learning it on my own while also moving away from constructional engineering into more IT related jobs I quickly realized that I also have to change my studies. It all culminated in switching my major to Informatics. Today I help to run an IT and Innovation Management company called Rubik’s Solutions as a Software Architect. 

How has your AIESEC experience contributed to your current career?

Before I joined AIESEC my goal was to finish college and start working as an engineer. During my AIESEC career I understood what it means to be entrepreneurial and also taught me how to be a better team player. Being entrepreneurial doesn’t specifically mean to start a company. For me it means to work on something that creates value for other people instead of just doing your job. This value can be converted into business or used to create social benefits. For me AIESEC also helped to form a large network of people and meet my future business partners and clients.

So what is Rubik’s Solutions all about?

Rubik’s Solutions is a Digital Innovation Agency creating value from emerging technologies. It was founded in 2013 as an app development company which in 2015 did a pivot to focus on project and innovation management.

In Rubik’s we are focused on helping companies facilitate innovation by running internal projects or spin-offs. This can culminate in a more innovative product, a new business model or both. My main responsibility in Rubik’s is to run technical teams and work on software and cloud architecture solutions. We have been involved in multiple different industries. We focus on projects that we can help to create the most value out of.

When it comes to hiring, what are start-ups in general, and more specifically, your start up looking for in prospective employees?

With start-ups it really depends on the nature of the company, the position and at what stage the person is joining. Founding partners or the very first employees are expected to help run the company as a whole and not focus only on the job description. This  of course is the most unstable time to join a company and thus your belief in the future of the endeavor plays an important role. Nobody wants to invest in a new person only to see him leave after half a year.

AIESEC is a great example where you see different types of people. Those who join and leave as soon as it gets difficult or those who are willing to go the extra mile to bring results. Results take time and if you have the patience, belief, and willpower to support the journey of any company, I don’t see a reason why you wouldn’t be the next founder or an integral part of a successful start-up team.

With Rubik’s and the spin-offs we build, we look at the character of a person, self-motivation, and a team player. I guess people who have been in AIESEC for more than a year or two prove to have these qualities. From the technical side education is important but you cannot beat the willingness and ability to learn.

In your opinion, what are Estonian start-ups lacking today ?

Moving fast. Compared to the pace of the scene abroad we are somehow still stuck in a fear of discovering that we are wrong. Trying to prove yourself wrong should be the first thing you do with an idea. Your focus should be to understand whether your ingenious new idea will work as a business or not. I feel that a lot of people get attached to their ideas, even if it is obvious that there is no real business value behind it. Start-ups are companies like any other and when starting up you will not survive long without investments. Financing will only come if you are able to prove that your business idea has the potential to convert investment into future revenue. Moving fast means to feedback your product or service on the market quickly. That is the place you get the real feedback, don’t expect it from your friends.

I feel that in the Estonian start-up scene the mutual support between founders of different companies is relatively low. It’s a very Estonian thing where people seem to see each other as competitors rather than collaborators. Building a start-up is hard and the only support you get is from your team, if you are lucky enough to have it. Fortunately, I see that changing especially in the new collaborative working spaces like Spring Hub where the community is selected to form  supportive environment. I hope to see these environments to grow even further and through that have a bigger  impact on all stakeholders involved.

Why should a young person take interest in start-ups?

If you are looking for a sexy work culture, becoming rich fast (or at all),  you shouldn’t not take interest in start-ups. If you are an engineer focused on learning from the best and becoming a talented specialist you are better off joining a company that has proven its business model and survived. For me  “taking interest in start-ups” means to start something from ground zero.

Start-up is  about not following someone else’s footsteps. There is nothing more unfulfilling than following instructions of someone else and never really discover what it is to realize your dreams yourself.

From Civil Engineering to IT Start-Up

Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Kaspar, I’m 25 years old. I started my career as a civil engineer while also studying it in Tallinn University of Technology. My first three years were intense and interesting but over the years I started getting more into IT. Learning it on my own while also moving away from constructional engineering into more IT related jobs I quickly realized that I also have to change my studies. It all culminated in switching my major to Informatics. Today I help to run an IT and Innovation Management company called Rubik’s Solutions as a Software Architect. 

How has your AIESEC experience contributed to your current career?

Before I joined AIESEC my goal was to finish college and start working as an engineer. During my AIESEC career I understood what it means to be entrepreneurial and also taught me how to be a better team player. Being entrepreneurial doesn’t specifically mean to start a company. For me it means to work on something that creates value for other people instead of just doing your job. This value can be converted into business or used to create social benefits. For me AIESEC also helped to form a large network of people and meet my future business partners and clients.

So what is Rubik’s Solutions all about?

Rubik’s Solutions is a Digital Innovation Agency creating value from emerging technologies. It was founded in 2013 as an app development company which in 2015 did a pivot to focus on project and innovation management.

In Rubik’s we are focused on helping companies facilitate innovation by running internal projects or spin-offs. This can culminate in a more innovative product, a new business model or both. My main responsibility in Rubik’s is to run technical teams and work on software and cloud architecture solutions. We have been involved in multiple different industries. We focus on projects that we can help to create the most value out of.

When it comes to hiring, what are start-ups in general, and more specifically, your start up looking for in prospective employees?

With start-ups it really depends on the nature of the company, the position and at what stage the person is joining. Founding partners or the very first employees are expected to help run the company as a whole and not focus only on the job description. This  of course is the most unstable time to join a company and thus your belief in the future of the endeavor plays an important role. Nobody wants to invest in a new person only to see him leave after half a year.

AIESEC is a great example where you see different types of people. Those who join and leave as soon as it gets difficult or those who are willing to go the extra mile to bring results. Results take time and if you have the patience, belief, and willpower to support the journey of any company, I don’t see a reason why you wouldn’t be the next founder or an integral part of a successful start-up team.

With Rubik’s and the spin-offs we build, we look at the character of a person, self-motivation, and a team player. I guess people who have been in AIESEC for more than a year or two prove to have these qualities. From the technical side education is important but you cannot beat the willingness and ability to learn.

In your opinion, what are Estonian start-ups lacking today ?

Moving fast. Compared to the pace of the scene abroad we are somehow still stuck in a fear of discovering that we are wrong. Trying to prove yourself wrong should be the first thing you do with an idea. Your focus should be to understand whether your ingenious new idea will work as a business or not. I feel that a lot of people get attached to their ideas, even if it is obvious that there is no real business value behind it. Start-ups are companies like any other and when starting up you will not survive long without investments. Financing will only come if you are able to prove that your business idea has the potential to convert investment into future revenue. Moving fast means to feedback your product or service on the market quickly. That is the place you get the real feedback, don’t expect it from your friends.

I feel that in the Estonian start-up scene the mutual support between founders of different companies is relatively low. It’s a very Estonian thing where people seem to see each other as competitors rather than collaborators. Building a start-up is hard and the only support you get is from your team, if you are lucky enough to have it. Fortunately, I see that changing especially in the new collaborative working spaces like Spring Hub where the community is selected to form  supportive environment. I hope to see these environments to grow even further and through that have a bigger  impact on all stakeholders involved.

Why should a young person take interest in start-ups?

If you are looking for a sexy work culture, becoming rich fast (or at all),  you shouldn’t not take interest in start-ups. If you are an engineer focused on learning from the best and becoming a talented specialist you are better off joining a company that has proven its business model and survived. For me  “taking interest in start-ups” means to start something from ground zero.

Start-up is  about not following someone else’s footsteps. There is nothing more unfulfilling than following instructions of someone else and never really discover what it is to realize your dreams yourself.

6 Questions For Start-Up Shipitwise Marketing manager

Viktorija describes herself as 20 something years old rebel who moved to Estonia from Lithuania.  After couple of years in university she decided to leave and move to another country to see what will happen. So far she does not regret any of her decision.

We met up on an untypically warm and rainy February night in an upcoming hipster neighborhood in Tallinn. Had a cup of tea and a lively discussion about start-ups, start-up culture in Estonia and how Vik has made her way into all of this.

What do you do exactly?
I study in Estonian Business School and as well I work in Shipitwise as a marketing manager. I am a growth hacker. The start-up is very new and fresh and is in a developing stage. My goal is to make the start-up grow.

So, I must ask, why start-up?
After finishing my AIESEC experience, everything was circulation around start-ups and everything seemed very sexy about it and I did not see myself getting into a corporate world. Start-ups are very flexible, they have a different work flow then traditional companies, start-ups are very global, and as a non-Estonian speaker that environment suited me very well.
I recommend being part of a start-up because of an idea and mission, because it is different, because it is interesting, and there is a lot of room for personal growth. Start up is an experiment, and I would recommend it for a young person likes a bit of chaos. You learn everyday something new, you become stress resistant, and you become faster learner. I find people to be bit different in start-ups: They are more open minded and it seems to me that Estonian start-ups in general are more culturally diverse, more tolerant, more collaborative then other companies, which makes it very unique place where to work. I feel like if I were to sit in my office just for the whole day, I would learn a lot just by being there. So it is a place full of energy, ideas and learning and sometimes it seems like the room is about to explode because the room cannot contain all of it. But start-up is also about actions. You have the confidence to do it because you have people around who will guide you, mentor you, give advice, and you get the sense that you are not doing it on your own.

Well, is your typical work day sexy then?
Yes, it is actually. I would not say that I wake up and feel sexy, it is not about that.But every day it feels like I am doing something that is actually needed and it feels like I am learning at the same time. At the end of day I feel like I gave something that I have and took from it as well. Everyday ends with a win-win situation. It is a very sexy job.

 How has your time in AIESEC contributed to your current career?
So when I joined AIESEC 3,5 years ago I started very randomly: I was a member, a project manager, I was part of Human Resources, then I found myself being on communications team, which turned out into marketing team and at that point I knew little about marketing or communications. But I decided to put effort into it, I was learning about the topic, I studied a lot. And I discovered that I really liked it. I was drawn to it because it is not stable. The world of marketing and communications is constantly changing, you need to learn all the time and know what is happening in the field. It is like computer software that needs to be constantly updated. When I moved to Estonia, I got a position in AIESEC National Board as a Vice president of Marketing and I thought that I was going to share my knowledge, experience, working on what I know but I learned a freaking a lot during that year.

When it comes to recruiting, what do you think start-ups need?
It is hard to say start-ups in general, every start-up has their own needs, own directions, but for what I personally see is that, especially young start-ups, they need to recruit a dynamic team because in the beginning it is all about the team, and if the team cannot work together, the start-up cannot move forward. I still don’t know what magic they do in Shipitwise, but the team is insanely great. Like really.

What might Estonian start-ups look like in the near future?
I believe in the next couple of years we will probably see more virtual reality on the market, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, because this is what has become sexy right now and will attract young people.

 

6 Questions For Start-Up Shipitwise Marketing manager

Viktorija describes herself as 20 something years old rebel who moved to Estonia from Lithuania.  After couple of years in university she decided to leave and move to another country to see what will happen. So far she does not regret any of her decision.

We met up on an untypically warm and rainy February night in an upcoming hipster neighborhood in Tallinn. Had a cup of tea and a lively discussion about start-ups, start-up culture in Estonia and how Vik has made her way into all of this.

What do you do exactly?
I study in Estonian Business School and as well I work in Shipitwise as a marketing manager. I am a growth hacker. The start-up is very new and fresh and is in a developing stage. My goal is to make the start-up grow.

So, I must ask, why start-up?
After finishing my AIESEC experience, everything was circulation around start-ups and everything seemed very sexy about it and I did not see myself getting into a corporate world. Start-ups are very flexible, they have a different work flow then traditional companies, start-ups are very global, and as a non-Estonian speaker that environment suited me very well.
I recommend being part of a start-up because of an idea and mission, because it is different, because it is interesting, and there is a lot of room for personal growth. Start up is an experiment, and I would recommend it for a young person likes a bit of chaos. You learn everyday something new, you become stress resistant, and you become faster learner. I find people to be bit different in start-ups: They are more open minded and it seems to me that Estonian start-ups in general are more culturally diverse, more tolerant, more collaborative then other companies, which makes it very unique place where to work. I feel like if I were to sit in my office just for the whole day, I would learn a lot just by being there. So it is a place full of energy, ideas and learning and sometimes it seems like the room is about to explode because the room cannot contain all of it. But start-up is also about actions. You have the confidence to do it because you have people around who will guide you, mentor you, give advice, and you get the sense that you are not doing it on your own.

Well, is your typical work day sexy then?
Yes, it is actually. I would not say that I wake up and feel sexy, it is not about that.But every day it feels like I am doing something that is actually needed and it feels like I am learning at the same time. At the end of day I feel like I gave something that I have and took from it as well. Everyday ends with a win-win situation. It is a very sexy job.

 How has your time in AIESEC contributed to your current career?
So when I joined AIESEC 3,5 years ago I started very randomly: I was a member, a project manager, I was part of Human Resources, then I found myself being on communications team, which turned out into marketing team and at that point I knew little about marketing or communications. But I decided to put effort into it, I was learning about the topic, I studied a lot. And I discovered that I really liked it. I was drawn to it because it is not stable. The world of marketing and communications is constantly changing, you need to learn all the time and know what is happening in the field. It is like computer software that needs to be constantly updated. When I moved to Estonia, I got a position in AIESEC National Board as a Vice president of Marketing and I thought that I was going to share my knowledge, experience, working on what I know but I learned a freaking a lot during that year.

When it comes to recruiting, what do you think start-ups need?
It is hard to say start-ups in general, every start-up has their own needs, own directions, but for what I personally see is that, especially young start-ups, they need to recruit a dynamic team because in the beginning it is all about the team, and if the team cannot work together, the start-up cannot move forward. I still don’t know what magic they do in Shipitwise, but the team is insanely great. Like really.

What might Estonian start-ups look like in the near future?
I believe in the next couple of years we will probably see more virtual reality on the market, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, because this is what has become sexy right now and will attract young people.

 

Alusta karjääri Global Entrepreneuriga!

Kas Sind ei võeta tööle, kuna Sul pole kogemust, kuna Sind ei võeta tööle? Kui Sinagi oled üks neist, kes on kinni selles kohutavas nõiaringis, ära muretse! AIESEC Eestil on Sulle lahendus ja see lahendus on meie Global Entrepreneur programm!

Global Entrepreneur programm on hea viis oma karjäärile hoog sisse saada. Programmi raames saad olla lühiajaline intern tasustamata kohal märkimisväärses start-up firmas.

 

Projektide kestus on 6-8 nädalat ja valikus on üle saja erineva sihtriigi. Majutuse eest maksma ei pea, endal tuleb tasuda programmitasu 150 EUR ja transport sihtriiki ja tagasi.

 

Parim osa AIESECi Global Entrepreneur programmi juures on see, et eelnev kogemus pole nõutav, kui kandidaat on pühendunud ja kirglik antud start-upis töötamise osas. Ainukesed nõudmised internile AIESECi poolt on, et intern oleks vanusevahemikus 18-30 ning oskaks inglise keelt (piisab B1, B2 tasemest). Tuleks küll meeles pidada, et mõned firmad võivad esitada ka spetsiifilisemaid nõudmisi.

 

Valikuprotsess ise on äärmiselt lihtne – kui näed projekti, mis Sulle meeldib, kandideeri sellele lehe www.opportunities.aiesec.org kaudu. Peale avalduse esitamist võetakse Sinuga ühendust ja tehakse töövestlus nii sihtriigi AIESECi esinduse kui ka firma esindajaga. Peale seda tuleb Sul lihtsalt oodata valituks saamist ja – hey, presto! – rahvusvaheline praktikakoht on Sul tagataskus!

 

Registreeruda ja meie projektidega tutvuda saad siin: www.opportunities.aiesec.org. Näeme seal!

 

Jätkates start-upide teemaga, on meil hea uudis ettevõtlikele noortele, kellel juhtumisi 10. märts veel vaba. AIESEC Eesti korraldab taaskord üritust nimega LEAP, mis on päev täis erinevaid loenguid ja töötubasid Sinus peituvale ärimehele/naisele/inimesele!

 

Mis on LEAP? Hea küsimus! LEAP on AIESEC Eesti poolt korraldatav iga-aastane üritus, mille eesmärk on kasvatada Eesti noortes ettevõtlikkust läbi firmade ja start-upide poolt korraldatavate interaktiivsete õpitubade.

LEAP 2017 plaanis on loengud firmadelt nagu Taxify, Shipitwise; Testlio jne, ja ka töötoad firmadelt nagu Timbiter, Shipitwise, Greenhouse CI jne. Suur lisaväärtus LEAPi puhul lisaks informatiivsele kavale on networkingu võimalus. Kui mõni üritusel osalevatest firmadest Sulle potentsiaalse tööandjana silma jääb, astu pausi ajalt julgelt firma esindajale ligi ja puhu temaga juttu!

LEAP 2017 toimub MEKTORYs, Raja 15, Tallinn. Pilet maksab ei rohkem ega vähem kui 4 eurot. Pileteid on piiratud koguses, seega haara enda oma siit juba täna: http://bit.ly/JoinLEAP2017

Seega pole olukors Sinu jaoks sugugi lootusetu, isegi, kuima sul oma erialal veel kogemus puudub. Lihtsalt haara härjal sarvist, carpe diem ja lase AIESECil oma karjäärile hoog sisse puhuda!

 

How to Get Better at Being a Leader?


Creator of Global Leadership Summit Bill Hybles once said: “Everybody wins when a leader gets better”.

But how does a leader get better at… being a leader?

I think the secret formula of being a great leader is realizing that leadership is about moving things forward. Moving from point A to point B, and this concept is applicable to all various aspects in one’s life, whether that is in be relationships, personal goals, HR or business development. Leadership comes from within you. Leadership is something that cannot be learnt in a class room or only from textbooks, it requires practice.

AIESEC is very passionate about developing young leaders and how we do it is through providing young people with the opportunities of cross cultural exchange to integrate in a new culture and work in challenging situation.

AIESEC has broken down leadership development into 4 parts:.

Being a world citizen

You cannot change the world around you, if you do not understand it. AIESEC provides youth with the opportunities to explore new cultures while building their professional portfolios, creating a killer CV and developing essential soft skills.

Self-awareness

AIESEC experiences develop self -awareness in youth. These experiences provide plenty of challenges and puts a young person into an environment where they have an opportunity to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, which is a major step in their formation towards becoming an excellent leader.

Being solution oriented

These leadership experiences enable the youth To have the mind set and the courage to step into messy situations, and instead of complaining, take action to solve complex problems.

To empower others.

Growing in your empathy and the ability to see qualities in others that they themselves might be oblivious to. Making sure that through effective communication and encouragement you are able to be part of someone else’s journey of moving from point A to point B

What is your point B?? The best time to start self-development is now, not a month or a year or 10 years from now. Opportunities will come and go but don’t you want to grow personally to be able to accomplish anything professionally. Create your own story. Check out the amazing opportunities AIESEC has for you! opportunities.aiesec.org