Meet Emma, our Design Lifer from Sweden!

Text by Emma Lundin
I am currently at a place I’ve dreamed of for a long time. I’ve always loved to travel and experience new places, cities and cultures. When I visited California for the first time when I was a teenager I fell in love right away. To live and work in the US has always felt like a huge challenge, because of the difficult visa applications and hard working culture, but it’s been a challenge I’ve been striving to take on. Thanks to Startuplifers I’ve made my dream come true!

So where did it all start?

I started studying Media Technology at The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH ) in Stockholm in 2010 and graduated with a Master of Science in Engineering the summer of 2016. I took a year off during my third year to study courses at Santa Monica College, California. During this year I started enjoying programming and design even more than before, and I ended up only choosing courses I found was fun and beneficial for a future career.
A month before I was finishing up my Masters Thesis I started applying for jobs. Since the degree I have from KTH is very broad I had to decide on what type of jobs I wanted to apply for. I decided that I wanted to get better at programming, front-end programming in particular, so I wanted to test it out. I started working on a portfolio to collect the work and school work I was the most proud of – it’s extremely important to have an online portfolio for recruiters to look at when you’re searching for a job. I ended up building www.lundinemma.com.
I sent my resume to over 20 companies. After attending lots of different interviews I finally landed at a front-end development job at AB Kvällstidningen Expressen, one of Swedens largest newspapers. A week after I presented my Master Thesis I was sitting at my new office desk in Stockholm. Until I found a new opportunity ✨

How I got here

As I was having dinner with a close friend and classmate of mine, she started talking about Startuplifers internships in San Francisco, and encouraged me to apply. I found it extremely interesting, and it was something that I really wanted to apply for. Luckily I already had a portfolio to attach in the application, and I only had to update a few things on my resume.
A few weeks later I started getting emails from different startups in San Francisco. I had a total of five Skype interviews, two from one startup and three from another. One of them was a Developer internship and one was a User Experience (UX) design internship. I really liked the idea of becoming a UX designer, and I really liked the founders and their product. After I finished a case to redesign one of their screens in the app, they called me back and told me they wanted to hire me for a year!

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What I am doing here

Today I am working as a UX designer at Breaker – a podcast app for iOS with focus on social engagement. I have only been here for about a month so far and I love it! I am designing new screens for Breaker every week and some of them have already been implemented. We are moving fast and it is very exciting! I am working with the two founders at an office in downtown San Francisco and we have a few freelances who are working remote from other cities in the US. Moreover, San Francisco and California has everything you can ask for, it is hard to get bored out here.

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Key takeaways
  • Always strive for new and fun challenges and opportunities
  • Work hard – no opportunity will appear in front of you without putting effort into making it happen
  • If you are interested in taking the same journey as I am, apply to Startuplifers talent pool here: https://swe.startuplifers.org/apply/

Don’t hesitate to email me with any questions you might have on lun.emma@gmail.com
Or follow me here:
Instagram: @emmalundin
Blog (in Swedish): blogg.lundinemma.com

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