Life at Meister: My First Week

My name is Yinyin Li and this week, I started a new job. I’m the new People Management Assistant at Meister, based at our Vienna headquarters. I’m also studying for an internationally-focused Master’s degree in HR next to my work, so I’m really grateful for such an amazing opportunity to gain experience in a growing company. 

Life at Meister: My First Week

As I knew that my own onboarding experience would be a big influence in my role helping new recruits integrate into the company, I decided to keep a diary of my first week here at Meister. I hope it will be interesting for anyone who is looking into the possibility of joining our team and becoming part of our exciting journey!

Monday: Preparation is Key

My official start date isn’t actually until tomorrow, but I feel like the work has already begun: good preparation is important. I spent the day brushing up on my knowledge of Meister, what the company does, and what they offer to their customers. I actually used MeisterTask as a student, so I’m really excited to see the other side of that: how the products are made and who makes them.

I already knew a fair amount from my interview preparations, but I wanted to make sure that I was in the best position to hit the ground running the next morning. I cooked some curry with rice and went to bed early to make sure that I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the big day.

Tuesday: The Week Begins

Today was my first day. I felt a little bit like the new kid at school, but it was actually really informal and relaxed. When I arrived, our people manager, Rabea, was already waiting to welcome me: we had a hot tea and settled on the couch to go through some of the formalities. She showed me a detailed presentation on the company’s history: it was remarkable to see how Meister has grown in such a short period of time. 

I was pleasantly surprised when Michael Hollauf, one of the co-founders of Meister, took the time to find me and welcome me personally to the team. It’s not something you’d normally expect top-level management to do, but we spoke for almost half an hour and it gave me such a warm and welcome feeling. 

For the rest of the day I took the obligatory tour of the headquarters, met everyone who was in the office, and promptly forgot everyone’s name. The office is amazing though: so much space and freedom to work wherever you like. I will definitely try out some more cozy corners tomorrow. 

I left the office after day one with a really good impression and also a solid overview of what was expected from me. I think it’s great that the team is so understanding when it comes to new people: possibly because most of them were new themselves not so long ago. 

Wednesday: Settling In

The sun was out this morning, which made a nice change from the rain yesterday. There were a few more people in the office when I arrived as well: I think lots of them chose to work from home yesterday rather than brave the elements. 

Of course, working in an office is a different sort of experience at the moment, in light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, but Meister is really diligent when it comes to taking precautions. Everything is set up to help remote employees and for those who are in the office, there’s spacing between desks and in the common areas. 

My own desk is in the same room as the team responsible for MindMeister, and they appear to have adopted me as one of their own. They invited me to go out to lunch with them almost as soon as I had arrived and, this being the center of Vienna, we weren’t exactly short of options.

Rabea, who is mentoring me in the onboarding phase, and I sat down today once more and spoke clearly about how we will work together. She seemed very impressed with the team spirit generally, and based on my own experiences so far, I can only agree with her.

Thursday: Business Time

After two days of learning the ropes, I was really happy to get my first project today: creating content for our new Life@Meister series on the FOCUS blog. It’s a really great assignment because I’ll be getting to know people from all over the company and finding out their stories: I’ve heard a few wild ones already! 

Researching the various teams for this project made me realize the extent of the diversity just here in the Vienna office: with team members from the US, the UK, Romania, Hungary, South Africa and many places besides. Despite this, communication is awesome: everybody speaks beautiful English and the company even offers free German courses to non-natives. I’m told we don’t really need it for work, but learning the local language helps the team to settle into Viennese life better.

The office has a beautiful garden and terrace, where people can enjoy their lunch, hold meetings, or work in pleasant surroundings. I thought I’d take advantage of this opportunity and had an ice cream on the sun lounger (because obviously there’s a fridge full of ice cream), before going back to work for the afternoon. All in all, a good day. 

Friday: Time to Reflect

I can’t believe the week is over already: that really flew by fast! It’s been such an intense few days, there has been a lot of information to process, but I feel like I’m doing well. 

I feel so welcomed and involved and that does a lot for my self-confidence. Rather than feeling self-conscious, I can look forward to taking on all the challenges that lay before me. I’ll leave that until Monday though, as now I’m going to wrap up a productive start with a beer in the garden alongside my new colleagues. Cheers! 

Interested in opportunities at Meister? Visit our careers page and find the position perfect for you!