Tímea Orbán

Tímea Orbán

fellow of Bridge Budapest, Route4U, Budapest, 2017

The first month in deep water

The last month or so turned out to be a great journey as a new member of a talented, hardworking team, and if I ever had doubt about joining a small tech startup now I know that it’s the best thing that can happen to a graduate. As opposed to rigid hierarchy, strict schedules and boring meetings of a multi-national corporation, I’ve found encouragement and opportunity to grow.

On my first day at Route4U I was as nervous as anyone would be starting their first ever job. Of course, I had some internships and experiences already, but this seemed totally different. I was becoming a tax-paying real-life adult. On that day, the company had just moved to the new office at Kalvin tér. Well… it wasn’t much of a move anyways, we just quickly claimed our seats at the desks, I put my UCL mug in the cupboard and jumped right into it! However, that’s okay, because I’ve quickly realised, that all you really need is your team and a laptop to create something great.

The team welcomed me, my enthusiasm and my ideas with open arms, which was great for someone like me, who cannot stand monotonous work for long. I wrote quotes, I met with potential partners, created content for the website, talked to users but most importantly learned a lot about a startup’s “way of life”. I’ve observed how they try to perfect their product based on feedback, and how the operations work. I also learned that they work so well together, because they are friends, not just colleagues. For my birthday, for example they brought Champaign and chocolate, which I did not expect. This safe and caring environment breaths innovation. And that’s what gave me the courage to initiate we go to a validation event organised by Mol and Design Terminal. The founders, Peter and Tamas trusted me and my colleague Tibor to go check it out and so we did. Here’s a photo from the event:

We came back even more enthusiastic with very positive feedbacks so we decided to try and apply to Mol’s startup selection camp, which we found out of at the event. Out of 75 startups, we got in along with the 11 other contesters, to get the chance to work with Mol. Therefore, Tibor and me, we spent 3 days at the A38 boat trying to figure out how we should cooperate with Mol and on what project exactly. One of the speakers pointed out that a startup trying to collaborate with a big corporation is like a mouse trying to negotiate with an elephant, because they are just so fundamentally different. However, if they are able to find the right balance, the startup can bring invaluable innovation to the firm in exchange for stability and infrastructure. It was a great experience since I had the opportunity to work on pitches, strategies and mission statements, which will definitely be beneficial in the future.

I also had the chance to attend at an award gala but let the story be the topic of the next blogpost!

All in all, the first month left me with great impressions and even more enthusiasm to continue what we’ve started, and can’t wait to see what the next 5 months hold.