Inspiring co-workers and the level of expertise they possess can be the thing that takes one to heights. Startuplifers alumni, Juuso, shares how he enjoyed talented co-workers’ support while he gained work experience in two Silicon Valley startups, Memebox and OneSignal.

“In Silicon Valley, someone is always ahead of you. And that’s great! It’s a humbling experience to get to work with these talented people. At the same time, you are introduced to new technologies and processes facilitated by startups in search of competitive advantage.”

Juuso worked as a full-stack web developer for two Y Combinator graduated startups, Memebox and OneSignal. Memebox is one of the fastest growing e-commerce beauty companies with offices in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, and Taiwan. OneSignal again, is a fast-growing platform designed to provide a simple interface to push notifications and email.


Top tier professionals yet normal people

While Juuso met many inspiring co-workers at these companies, he also learned more about his own unique skills. He reminds us that seizing the offered opportunities requires a level of self-confidence and believe in own abilities – something that he gained during his stay in San Francisco.

“While San Francisco houses many outstanding programmers, the vast majority are ordinary people. A combination of increased self-confidence and a realization that I had to learn to identify things I am good at, forced me to think about what I do from a new and concise perspective. I think it was that conciseness which helped me to sell myself as an expert of something, which then led to prosperous projects after my return to Finland.”


The experience gave me easy access to more risk and responsibilities, unusual given my short career”

Despite being only 21 years old, Juuso found a whole new spectrum of career opportunities driven by his Silicon Valley experience. After spending a year in Silicon Valley, Juuso moved to Oulu and is now working as a research assistant at the University of Oulu.  At his new job he helps researchers to test 5G technology on a mobile network, which he created during his BSc thesis work. He also gets occasionally to write papers himself – an example of something concrete that the Startuplifers experience helped him to achieve.

“Considering what I do now, independent research is seldom conducted independently by other than doctorates, but I got to do that already as an undergraduate. Getting to a comparable situation usually requires capturing the attention of people who are busy all the time. “


“Never pass on something you’d regret not doing”

“In general, working in the Valley is considered as a distinguished benefit in Finland, which in turn enables freedom. As such, should you have ideas of your own startup, or a research project, you’ll find fewer people prejudicing you for your young age.”

Last words from Juuso to a fellow developer, who is trying to make a decision on whether to apply to Startuplifers: “Never pass on something you’d regret not doing.”


If you are interested in hearing more about how Juuso did his J-1 company transfer, read the post here.

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