Jan 30, 2023
From Interns to Designers: Meet Samu & Sofia
What would we do without designers?
Our designers support our teams bringing to life Wolt's products; from simplifying complex systems to designing thoughtful, polished user experiences that are grounded in real-world use cases and business needs, all the way through to the finer details that can turn a good experience into a great one. Their mission is to craft products that our users love to adopt into their daily lives.
We often get asked about what it’s like to kickstart your design career at Wolt. To seek some answers, we had a chat with Samu Rintala (Motion Designer) and Sofia Secchi (Product Designer), both of whom have grown from interns to product designers. Let’s hear more from them.
Hi, who are you?
Samu: Hi! I’m Samu and I'm a motion designer at Wolt. My job focuses on creating interactions and animations for our products to make them feel more alive and informative, therefore, enhance the user experience.
Sofia: Hi!I'm Sofia, a product designer at Wolt. I joined as an intern in the merchant app team where we design and develop the app that our merchant partners use to receive and manage orders. Now, I’m supporting the merchant acquisition team, where we build the tools used to onboard new merchant partners.
What got you interested in joining Wolt?
Samu: I have always been interested in coding and all things related to technology. Although I chose a creative path for school, I always kept my interest in tech. Working with my hands and solving real world problems are some of my favorite things. With time, I figured that a much more technical and product-oriented work would provide just that.
“I’m excited about the fact that our product is focused on solving problems in people's everyday lives. “
When I noticed that Wolt was looking for a motion designer intern, I felt like I'd found the perfect match to utilize my eight years of motion design experience with the hope to learn more about product development. I just had to apply!
Sofia: My background is in industrial design, which is tied to the spaces and the physical things we interact with as humans. With my recent studies, I’ve become very passionate about the digital dimension which led me to start looking for a role in tech. I come from Italy, but since I really enjoyed student life in Finland, when I graduated and started looking for a job, I was curious to see what the Finnish working culture is like. The design internship position at Wolt just seemed like the perfect opportunity I was looking for.
How has your experience been since joining?
Samu:I felt welcomed from day one. Masha, my mentor, was a huge support. She introduced me to everyone and helped me find all the information I’d need. This is my first position where English is the working language, but everyone has been very supportive and patient about me having to get used to it.
Sofia: This was my first experience in a big company and it was quite hard to understand the organizational structure at the beginning. Luckily we had a comprehensive list of onboarding tasks which helped a lot in the first weeks. It guided me through the most important things, for example what I needed to set up for my work to start smoothly. It made me feel more confident, I felt I was taking the right steps and doing things properly.
What is day-to-day work life like?
Samu: It’s very different from my old job. The main difference that I see is not having external clients. As my clients are the various teams across Wolt, we’re all working on the same end product. There’s more focus on long-term goals and how things we do affect each other’s areas. We’re building a product, designing, and engineering things thoroughly with an eye on the future while keeping scalability in mind. I feel like I’m doing a better job than ever before because I have the time to get to the best possible outcome.
Sofia: Large flexibility and agile remote working are the first things that come to my mind. This job is much less office centered than the ones I’ve had before, yet there’s always a chance to connect with colleagues any time you decide to work from there. You can always easily find company for lunch and get to know people in person.
The flexibility we have makes a better balance between free time and work. I personally find it easier to take proper breaks if needed when I am working from home.
What has been your favorite project so far?
Samu: The whole experience has, in a way, been a favorite of mine. To name just a single project, I was part of the team updating our Easter Egg game, also known as the Tapping Game, which is one of the most beloved features in our Wolt app. In this project we modernized the graphics and user interface of the game. It's very cool to be part of redesigning that as it’s an iconic part of our product.
Sofia: I'm not sure I can share much about it yet, but what I can tell is that my favorite project so far spans a large scope of design specialties from strategy to UI design and UX research, too. Not only has this project involved a range of different skills I could apply, improve or even learn almost from scratch, but also it’s allowed me to collaborate with different people and touch upon various domains that our products relate to.
What challenges did you face when joining?
Samu: When joining, I didn’t know the depth of all the things that go into building digital products. We do a lot of prototyping in our motion team. Prototyping tools were all new to me but translating motion design fundamentals into them was quite natural.
One of my biggest learnings has been to always consider both sides for my work: the user and engineering perspective. I’ve learnt to look for a balance for how to implement the most user-friendly option, while also keeping designs feasible for engineers to implement.
Sofia: Something that was very new to me when joining Wolt was the cooperation between designers and developers. Previously, I was mostly dealing with design and physical building of things. When I joined, the building part became something handled by developers through a language that is definitely not of my domain or within my comfort zone.
The biggest challenge has been trying to navigate and absorb the developers language to understand what happens when my design moves to their hands. Even if it seemed quite difficult to understand them at first, it actually resulted in creating a stronger bond with them and in a lot of precious learning!
What tips would you have for someone applying to be a design intern at Wolt?
Samu: Just apply! It's very rewarding when you get in. If you are at an assignment stage in the interview process, give it all you can within your skills but don’t stress about it too much. Keep in mind that you're applying for an internship. Nobody expects you to know everything. Do what feels right to you. The recruiters in the company know what potential to look for.
Sofia: Present yourself as you are. If, like me, you come from a different background but have a strong interest in the open position, don't be afraid to try it out. Don’t aim to perfectly match the job ad, but rather think of how your background experiences formed your strengths. Be honest about what you can do, what you haven't done before, or what you aren't the biggest expert in. Once you join the company you realize you don't have to know everything, and what will truly assist you day to day is your willingness to learn!