Why you should take the leap and apply for Startup Life, by Startup Lifer Gonçalo

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I recently spent some real good times in San Francisco working for Fivestars as a software engineer. Here are my thoughts about why you should take the leap, apply for Startup Life and enjoy what the program and SF have to offer you!
The application process
So first of all, the application process. Usually this is the scariest step for every student coming out of the University, even more when it comes to applying to top notch tech startups in SF. Luckily, the application process was as smooth as it could possible be. After I submitted my application along with the list of my prefered companies, I was introduced to a bunch of great companies willing to understand whether we were a good match or not.
It was great to have the opportunity to talk and discuss with many smart and interesting people. Between technical interviews and cultural fit chats – which are a great way to learn and get experience just by itself – I ended up getting Fivestars interested that I’d come over to join their team.
Fivestars
Fivestars is awesome. Period.
All the legendary memes about the startups in SF that always sound too good to be true were part of Fivestars’ DNA: a great culture supported by great and smart people; The people’s willingness to learn and teach; Plenty of tasty catered food and snacks; A pet-friendly office with a bunch of cute puppies, funny dogs and only-interested-in-food dogs; Ping-pong and soccer tournaments; Company retreats; A great product using the latest technologies to serve thousands of paying customers; The ambition of making the world a better place through technology and the freedom to create and learn (my personal faves!).
If you blend all of this with a pinch of Californian sun, you have an eye opening experience: to work doesn’t have to be a painful exercise, but it can rather be full of purpose, joy and personal development!
The city and its people
I ended up living in a community house in the Mission district with over 20 people living under the same roof. What started by being a temporary place to stay became yet another protagonist of my memorable experience in SF. There was never a dull moment among my housemates and friends. There were hackers, designers, entrepreneurs seeking investment for their startups, wanderers and globetrotters, lawyers, business analysts, social entrepreneurs – just to name a few.
Actually, one of the most intriguing things about San Francisco’s atmosphere is its ability to gather people with the most diverse backgrounds, cultures and interests and how it all brews together in an exciting way. On top of this cultural richness, you can get to Yosemite national park, the Big Sur, Tahoe Lake, Sierra Nevada and so many other beautiful places so easily!
To live and work in San Francisco is a priceless experience for everyone, not only from a career perspective but also as a great way to enjoy the perks of California – the travelling, the people and the cultural richness. And guess what, the Startup Life is by far the easiest way to dive in a lifetime experience in SF!
If you have any questions, if you need any help during your application period or during your settling down in the US, feel free to drop me an e-mail (at g6pestana@gmail.com) or tweet me (@gpestana)!!
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Gonçalo just finished his four-month internship at Fivestars in San Francisco. He worked as a Software Engineer in the successful YC-alumnus startup, located in a hip office in the iconic SoMA. 
Fivestars is recruiting again! Check the job descriptions for Experience Design and Research Intern, Visual and Experience Design Intern and Engineering Intern at startuplife.fi/jobs! 

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