We recently heard through the grapevine that two volunteers who dedicated their time to help us in our last edition have now become employees of a startup that exhibited with us in 2016.
Being a fairly small team, 4YFN often relies on volunteers to help out during the main event in February each year as the sheer size of it requires extra hands-on assistance.
Joaquín Gale and Pau Fernandez, both students who volunteered their time during the 4YFN 2016 edition, told us about their experience of being a volunteer, why they chose to sign up and how they managed to get employment with FindThatLead after the event.
Tell us a bit about yourself, why you became a volunteer and your experience with 4YFN?
“I am an Actuarial Science and Finance student at the University of Barcelona. I have always had an interest in entrepreneurship and particularly in technology innovation within the startup world. I had heard of 4YFN through a friend who was a volunteer in the 2015 edition, who told me about the great opportunity to help with 4YFN and that I would get a free ticket. They said the whole experience was amazing and so for that reason, I applied for the programme. They were not wrong, it was a fantastic experience!”
“My experience at 4YFN was great, I thought it would be interesting to participate in an event of this type and being a volunteer I think it was the best option. I am studying Business and Administration and wanted to steer my professional career towards the world of startups. My experience in the business world was almost non-existent when I was in the third year of my university degree and I had not been able to get experience in any company. The decision to be a volunteer of the event was because since I was young I have been fascinated by new technologies and everything related to the internet. I had always wanted to go to MWC but the visitor’s entry was far too expensive. In addition to being able to access the MWC, I wanted to be a volunteer to be able to speak with companies and meet new people related with my future career.”
How did you contact the startup you are working with now, what do they do and what is your role there?
“I read a blog about a new startup in Barcelona that was able to find everyone’s corporate email so I downloaded the plug-in in order to try it, the next day I got a phone call from the CEO, Gerard Compte asking me for my feedback. That impressed me a lot because it was a Saturday and I did not expect them to be working on the weekends. As I was a volunteer in the afternoons during 4YFN, I attended the mornings as a visitor and made sure I visited all the stands. When I saw FindThatLead’s stand, I approached them about their tool. After a brief chat, Gerard told me he wanted me on the team!”
“Joaquín Galé, another volunteer told me about FindThatLead since he already knew them and encouraged me to go to the booth. FindThatLead is dedicated to finding the corporate emails of your future best customers using the public information in your LinkedIn profile. Thanks to the plugin they have developed, you can find almost any corporate email from millions of contacts. My duties are diverse, from outbound marketing tasks to making our services known to new clients, as well as technical assistance to our clients. In short, I’m in charge of the marketing department and customer service.”
What was your favourite part of being a volunteer?
“The best part was that I was involved in a worldwide event and I learnt a lot. When I was on my shift I could meet new people and talk about their business ideas and learn about new technologies. Another key point was as a member of staff, you help the exhibitors and this drives conversations that wouldn’t be the same if you just spoke with them as an attendee. Everything is more informal and relaxed.”
“My favourite part of being a volunteer was the large number of people and new companies that I could meet and that was only possible thanks to being inside the fair from a privileged position. Thanks to being a volunteer, I was able to find the job and develop my professional career. I couldn’t have asked for more! Being able to help people has always been something that I enjoy and being a volunteer allowed me to do this.”
Any tip to the volunteers who will be joining the 2017 edition?
“Try to take a week off from university as it is highly recommendable to dedicate the time that you are not on your shift to really get involved with 4YFN.”
“I would recommend taking advantage of all the time that you have to get to know the companies and activities organised by 4YFN during the event. Don’t be shy, be curious and ask companies if they need help with anything. Being helpful like this goes a long way! I signed up to be a volunteer because I wanted to contribute and help others and I was able to do that. Enjoy being a volunteer and see it as a great opportunity to make yourself known, whilst helping the event organisation.”
From speaking to these two volunteers, it seems that there is a potential to gain various opportunities from working as a volunteer. Whether it be simply gaining insight and knowledge into the tech startup scene, or trying to further your career by using it as a platform, it is a great way to get yourself known within the industry. Whatever the case may be, we are extremely thankful to have excellent members of staff on board to help us over the three day event, and in turn we hope that the volunteers at least gain some experience from it. As you heard from the stories by Joaquín and Pau, sometimes it can lead to more…
If you are a student and are interested in becoming a volunteer for our 2017 edition email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We would require you to mention in the email, the following:
Subject line: Interest in volunteering at 4YFN 2017 + (Name of University)
Area of studies:
Name of University (necessary):
We would require volunteer assistance from 16 February until 1 March.
4YFN 2017 takes place in Barcelona from 27 February – 1 March 2017. We hope to see you there!