Greetings from Team Fixably
Written by Elsi Mora, Jan Vanous, Dingmi Gong and Jason Park
Our mighty crew arrived in Helsinki at different times and coming from different destinations. Dingmi had travelled to Sweden, Jan to Norway, Jason to Greece and Elsi to Hungary before they all settled in Finland for the next two weeks. They stayed just outside of Helsinki in a city called Espoo, where running trails and forests abounded. The company’s office was in Helsinki proper, with the commute being extremely smooth. It consisted of a four- minute walk to the bus stop, then a transfer to the metro station and another four-minute walk to the office. The days were long, in that there was plenty of sunlight, with nightfall really kicking in at around midnight and sunlight streaming in at 4 in the morning.
Upon our arrival to our comfortable accommodations in Espoo, there was food in the fridge that was delivered by small, white, and black, cute-looking robots. We were told that ordering food via these robots was extremely affordable and we were officially impressed with Finland.
A busy week kicked off. Our team met with all of the organization’s teams in person and we got to dive deeper into the ins and outs of the company. We met with the c-level suite execs, marketing, development, sales and human resources. The conversations were richer, and we predictably learned more than we had when we met some of the teams while we were still in Berkeley. Our entire team was struck by how generous everyone at Fixably was with their time and how genuinely kind and welcoming everyone at the office was. All week long we were treated to lunch, accompanied by a company intern who coincidentally started on the same day of our arrival at the office. She gave us recommendations on where to eat and what to do in Finland and we felt particularly well taken care of all week long. Our Haas team felt that the culture was very special, close-knit, international and collaborative. With that great atmosphere and with the help of the director of operations, the team further scoped out the goals for the two weeks and set forward a path to success. Part of the plan hinged on talking to contacts from the US, so the time difference (10 hours ahead of California) was a bit troublesome at times.
To cap off our first week of work at the office, our team went to a local sauna and then jumped into the Gulf of Finland to cool off. It was an extraordinary moment with experiences varying from hard-core sauna lovers to complete sauna noobs. Afterwards the Haas team went to a rooftop bar where temperatures were still quite chilly and not even the warmth of the blankets provided by the bar prevented our teeth from chattering. The next day, Saturday, literally the ship sailed, and we had to catch a later ferry to take us to beautiful Estonia. We went on a daytrip and were fascinated by the architecture, with orange-tipped roofs that prevailed and added a sense of fairy tale enchantment.
The Haas team continued to explore the Finnish cuisine scene and we tried more reindeer and salmon soup, which are the classic dishes and the latter which was the team’s all- around favorite. We continued to make international phone calls, talk to experts in the field, and divided work internally to tackle the challenges. This week, our Has team went to a very delicious dinner with the company’s founder and the director of operations on Wednesday and it was a fabulous experience. The following day was a Thursday and a national holiday so we stayed home and cranked out the project and out findings. On Friday, we delivered our
presentation and it was well-received. The Haas team stayed back for a game of ping-pong where we were soundly defeated by the more experienced Fixably employees. We walked away with some serious swag and could not be more delighted in having lived this experience.