As a new intern at LB, I thought it would be awesome to share my experience after a few days spent at the office. My name is Albert and I am a French student about to finish my Master’s degree in industrial engineering.*
You might be wondering how I ended up in a Slovak UX design studio. On top of my studies, I taught myself a lot about UX design and since I've been attracted by graphic design and code for a long time, I realized that this area would be a perfect fit for starting my professional career.
Then, a year and a half ago, I met my girlfriend during an exchange program in Hamburg. It happened that she is Slovak and she started her first job at Dell in Bratislava, in September 2017. Long story short, I decided to move to Slovakia as well, and I started my internship research.
How I found out about Lighting Beetle
When looking for junior UX positions, I found the website of LB*. Honestly, I was really impressed by their case studies and the fact that they are organizers of a UX conference with speakers from Google, Airbnb, Smashing Magazine... I sent them my application for which I received an answer after several hours. One month later, I was sitting in LB’s office.
My first day started with a weekly LB* stand-up. The goal of this meeting is to share the company’s updates from different departments: Value, Sales, Finance, HR, Marketing, etc. I really liked that KPIs are made public. The topics are smoothly reviewed one after another but it never takes more than 30 minutes for all 28 people to finish.
The last step is to name the “employee of the week”. The meeting ends with everybody saying “One, two, three” and then clapping once. It might sound a little bit like those corporate games to bound the team together, but it is quite fun after all.
From my previous experiences, company’s values have been often poorly visible in the daily operations. At LB, after just one hour I was already able to feel at least three important values out of the five LB* values (Growth, Reason, Empathy, Authenticity, and Transparency).
- Growth: people are free to decide on which project they want to work in order to improve their skills or skills they want to learn.
- Authenticity: you can feel people love what they do and have a positive mindset.
- Transparency: the weekly financial & sales numbers are made public.
From the first week, I was really impressed by the amount of learning possibilities during the work time. The LB’s Friday Academy is a perfect example.
Every Friday during three to four hours, the team has a dedicated time for learning. Internal or external senior specialists present certain topics and there is often a workshop as well. The topic of the academy was “new frameworks”. The first presentation, made by Juraj our project manager, explained how to apply lean ux in our current and future projects.
The second presentation, made by Walter a senior UX designer, talked about the Hook model that can help us design products that are addictive.
On top of that, there is a well-thought follow up of the growth for each member of the team. Twice a year there’s a skill assessment in order to know what skills we want to improve on the upcoming projects. In addition, there is a goal system where we set the goals we want to work on for the next three months. If the goals are fulfilled, we get a reward.
The majority of the team members is Slovak but the work language is mostly English. Even though speaking the local language is a plus (some projects require a good level of Slovak), speaking English only is not a problem.
On the other hand, this is a good opportunity to learn a new language. Výborne! Personally, I made the choice to start Slovak lessons and LB supports me financially. In general, the company aims to become more international in order to tackle more diverse and complex design challenges.
What’s even more interesting is the diversity of the team. We all have different backgrounds—from business, marketing and design to engineering and anthropology. But we all have one thing in common—a passion for research and aversion for assumptions. The company describes this as the “no-bullshit” approach where each decision is driven by data, not by one's opinion.
A place where it feels good to work
Last but not least, LB* is a great place to work. The offices are conveniently located in the city centre, every day I am coming to work by public transport. This is really useful when you don’t have a car, like me.
During working hours, the atmosphere at the office allows creativity, collaboration and concentration. During breaks, we can enjoy freshly brewed coffee filtered by the chemex masters Peter & Martin.
I am really happy that I joined this big family and I can't wait to start on my first project. If you ever considered working in the field of user experience and you're interested in living in Bratislava, I would definitely advise you to contact Lighting Beetle (I've heard that the team is growing now ;) ).