This autumn, we released the first episode of our brand new podcast series Leap by Startuplifers. In this podcast, Startuplifers alumni share stories about working at some of the most exciting startups, how the experience changed their life, and where they are today. The show is hosted by one of our superstar alumni, Pauliina Alanen.

In this very first episode, we catch up with Satu Peltola, a kickass UX designer, leading the UX team at RELEX. Satu first moved to San Francisco in 2015 to work for Coinbase as a product designer. Since then she worked on and off in Silicon Valley for around 4 years, before taking on her current role, right here in Helsinki. Here are some highlights of Satu’s story.

The second time’s a charm

Satu had her doubts about landing a job in Silicon Valley this early on in her career. However, having heard of the Startuplifers program she decided to take the leap and apply for a designer position. Interestingly, she didn’t hear back from any companies the first time around. Then she took a 2nd look at her job application, fine-tuned her portfolio, and applied again. Guess what? She got offers from not one, nor two but 3 different companies to choose from. Things may not work out exactly as you plan the first time around. But never stop trying.

Rubbing shoulders with Ivy League colleagues

We have this idea that large innovation hubs like Silicon Valley are made up of superhumans. Satu did meet and work alongside people with impressive backgrounds. Many of them had worked for big names such as Google, Apple, Airbnb, and Facebook. Moreover, quite a few of them had studied at Stanford or MIT, including her housemates. However, this was not as daunting as one may expect it to be. On the contrary, it gave Satu the chance to work together with some of the brightest minds, expand her own profile, and build a great network.

Life beyond Silicon Valley

The leap Satu took to work at Coinbase as a product designer did not lead to a standalone experience. In fact, it changed her life drastically and set the course for the amazing direction in which her career rocketed since then. The people she met, the skills she developed, and the culture she experienced have truly enriched her life.

There’s a lot more to Satu’s story from the California highlights that took her breath away to the biggest skills she brought back home. Tune in now to listen to the full episode.