As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration at Startuplifers, we are sharing inspirational alumni stories from the past decade. In this week’s post we get to know Pauliina Alanen, Startuplifers alumna currently working as a Communications and Marketing Lead at Silo AI.

In 2017 Pauliina joined a healthcare data startup called BetterDoctor in San Francisco. She first started as the company’s Platform and Community Manager and was later promoted to Marketing Manager. Working in a fast-growing startup, she was responsible for handling various tasks ranging from marketing, design, and sales.

According to Pauliina, working in a startup environment and being surrounded by ambitious people had a big impact on her: “Getting to live among very smart and ambitious people teaches you a lot of things. In San Francisco, you can’t avoid being influenced by futuristic, tech-driven and even utopian thinking.”

It has been a few years since Pauliina returned back to Finland. So how does she reflect back on her Startuplifers experience? Let’s find out… 

10 Questions with Startuplifers Alumni

What's your name?

Pauliina Alanen

How did you first hear about Startuplifers?

Working in tech startups, I got involved with Aaltoes and the great bunch of activities that rise from this community: Slush, FallUp and eventually, Startuplifers.

What motivated you to apply?

My main motivation as a content designer and communicator, was that I wanted to perfect English – while living in the startup and innovation mecca of the world.

Which company did you join through Startuplifers?

BetterDoctor, 18 months, 2017-2018.

What is the biggest learning you have gained from working at a startup?

Only doing, not talking, matters. Focus on the right things and prioritize ruthlessly.

Name one cool/crazy/amazing experience while working through Startuplifers?

My boss took me on a ’team day’ to his small plane that he had built himself and flew me over Golden Gate Bridge to an hour or so down south of San Francisco.. to have a lunch and fly back.

Describe your Startuplifers experience with few words.

Unforgettable and perfectly timed to give me and my boyfriend enough great memories to get through the following years with less traveling.

What would you tell someone who is thinking of applying to Startuplifers?

If you’re thinking about it, you should just do it. Ask for contacts, get to know companies and people. Silicon Valley is just as reachable as any other place if you want to get there.

Did Startuplifers experience help you in your career development. How?

After Startuplifers, I view businesses and startup, including the entire tech scene differently. I understand better how new innovations are developed and how companies foster certain culture to stay on top of things. For me Startuplifers gave confidence as a professional and perspective as a globe trotter – we’re all in this together.

What do you do now? What's next for you?

I lead communications and marketing at Silo AI, the largeat private AI lab in the Nordics. It’s been an amazing growth story so far that I wouldn’t have been a part of without my experience in SF. I’m currently learning about design thinking and service design to incorporate those methods into my work in content design and branding.

Thanks Pauliina for sharing your Startuplifers experience! 

Are you interested in hearing more about Pauliina’s journey to San Francisco? Check out this blog post where Pauliina reflects back on her San Francisco experience soon after returning to Finland. 

Did you know that Pauliina is the host of Startuplifers’ LEAP podcast?  Tune in to hear Pauliina and other Startuplifers alumni chatting about working in tech startups, living in California and remote work. 

Pauliina Alanen-Startuplifers Alumna

Stay tuned for more Startuplifers alumni stories that we will be sharing in the coming weeks! 

Are you interested in applying for a startup job? Check out our open positions today! 

Didn’t find a fitting position at this time? Download our free startup job hunting guide covering everything from what a startup is to how to find a job in one. 

Until next time!