This year, we've had the honour of having three interns working simultaneously at Taiste. Ngoc Nghiem, Chaeah Park and Olli Toivanen are stellar colleagues with very different backgrounds and stories to share regarding how they ended up joining our team. Inspired by this, we put our reporter hats on and invited the trio to share their experiences.
Hello all! Could you start by telling us how you first found out about Taiste?
Olli Toivanen, Software Developer Trainee:
I had studied Information Technology for two years at the University of Turku and practiced coding since high school, so I felt I was ready to start looking for a summer job in the field.
I found out about Taiste about a colleague and knew one person who worked here. After visiting the website, this seemed like the perfect place for me due to the fact that Taiste emphasises design a lot. It made many other places look a bit outdated in that regard. Design is important to me because so many apps and websites are unintuitive, and in my work I've always wanted to emphasise the ways in which I can make things easier to understand for the end user.
As a designer, aesthetics are very important to me – and Taiste felt like an environment where people would share a similar mindset.
Ngoc Nghiem, UX/UI Designer Trainee:
I actually have a background in law, which I studied back in Vietnam where I'm from. I decided to switch careers and was admitted to Haaga Helia to study Information Technology.
One day, I was walking around Kamppi in Helsinki and saw the Taiste logo on the wall of the office building. I thought: "Hmm, I've never heard of this company before" and went to check out Taiste's account on social media. The branding really caught my attention too. As a designer, aesthetics are very important to me – and Taiste felt like an environment where people would share a similar mindset.
Chaeah Park, Software Developer Trainee:
I was a language teacher in South Korea. My husband got a job in Finland and enjoyed working here so much that our original plan to stay here for only three years got extended indefinitely. After that, I started looking for new career options for myself and found that Software Development would be a good fit for my strengths.
In order to find an internship, I was going through IT consulting companies in Finland and found Taiste via MeetFrank app. I first came across your Culture Handbook, and immediately got the impression that this seemed like a place that appreciates its team members. Then, I watched the Career Crises episode of the Taiste Talks video podcast, which further strengthened the feeling that here, the uniqueness of each individual is regarded as important.
What kind of projects have you been working on during your time here?
During the first few weeks, I was working on an internal project that had to do with creating automated alerts for our servers in case something goes wrong. After that, I got to work with a client: Aalto University, namely their Design System. It's been very educational to work in such a big project and communicate with a lot of experienced people.
I got assigned to a project related to taxi travel. During this time, I've learned to work with a client, how projects move forward – and understand the difference between in-house designers and consultant designers.
I've been involved in two projects: Finnish Design Info and later on, Aalto University. In the first one, I learned a lot about maintaining a website with other developers. The Aalto project felt very challenging because I was overwhelmed by its scale. I spent two days just reading the code and wrote down all my questions to Olli – the next day he gave me answers to all of them, which was so helpful. What I learned from this was that firstly, I need to define what I don't know so I can formulate the right questions. Secondly, I need to be able to ask the questions after first thinking about the problem by myself.
Now that you've been here for a while, how would you describe Taiste as a place to work?
The first thing I noticed was just how much responsibility I was given right away; I felt trusted from day one. The same was true for being assigned to the Aalto project. The communication between people is great: we can solve a lot of things just by talking. You can ask "silly questions" and are not expected to know everything. It feels like a safe environment.
There's this balance of being allowed to be independent but still being supported and encouraged by them. The Helsinki office team has felt like a family, even to a newcomer like myself.
I've had the same experience. I'm trusted by my co-workers, and there's this balance of being allowed to be independent but still being supported and encouraged by them. The Helsinki office team has felt like a family, even to a newcomer like myself.
Working here is fun; I'm allowed to do things my own way and ask for help when I need to. This is also a way for me to learn very quickly and improve myself at my own pace.
Our heartfelt thanks to all of you for participating in this interview – we're lucky to have you here!