How did you establish contact with the micro-enterprise Inkonova in Sweden?
I knew Pau Mallol (the founder and CEO of Inkonova) from a previous work experience in Makerspark Stockholm (Makerspark is intended as a co-working space, a laboratory, and an event venue to attract the Swedish capital’s population of creative artists and digital artisans).
Why did you choose to do an internship in that particular company?
I have always been curious about drones (most people are these days), but learning how to actually design and build one is very interesting and provides knowledge of an emerging market product.
Why did you choose to do an internship in Sweden?
I have lived in Sweden before and I really liked Stockholm as a city. My girlfriend also works and lives there, so for me finding a place and working there was really easy compared to any other city.
What did you work with during your internship?
I worked as a concept developer, packaging designer, and market researcher.
What results did you make for the company?
I created a condensed market analysis on the competitors of Inkonova when a new concept was evaluated. I designed three concept drones, one of which will be developed further in the future. Last but not least I created advertising posters for Inkonova when the startup participated in expos.
What was special for you about working in a micro-enterprise in Sweden?
I got the opportunity to develop a close relationship with my colleagues due to the small size of the company. Also, by applying the theoretical knowledge I have gained through my studies in project management, I was able to test my limits in a real job environment where more responsibilities fall upon individuals, such as in a micro-startup.
What was particularly positive about doing an internship in a micro-enterprise in Sweden?
There were great networking opportunities with other companies and startups. In startups, establishing good public relationships is a beneficial factor towards success. It cultivates future channels of collaboration which could establish future collaboration ventures. If I return to Sweden in the near future it will be much easier to find job opportunities in a startup.
What was particularly surprising about doing an internship in a micro-enterprise in Sweden?
I had expected less patience when things started to fail, but in general lines everyone would stay calm even in worst case scenarios. That is something that prevails in startup hubs in Stockholm.
I have some experience from working in a medium size business. The big difference is the dependence of the individuals in a startup. There is no shortage of tasks that one has or needs to perform.
How has it benefitted you to do an internship in a micro-enterprise in Sweden, and how can you use it in your future career?
I have discovered a lot about myself as an employee. I started to measure my industrial designer skills efficiency on different tasks, which in return allowed me to develop better time management in a multitasking job environment. Also, it helped me develop better communication skills in terms of design in a multidisciplinary environment.
Do you have good advice for others that consider or will be doing an internship in Sweden?
Finding a room in Stockholm is as hard as Copenhagen. It is wise to start looking for rooms through Facebook groups and websites such as Blocket.se as soon as you find a job or an internship. Finding a cheap rent might involve a 40 minute commute. Besides that startups offer great experiences in small and big workspaces/hubs.
Do you have good advice for others that consider or will be doing an internship in a micro-enterprise?
Make a thorough research and talk/clarify your tasks and expectations with the person that will be supervising you in the startup. Things tend to fall off really fast if you do not clarify these things.
Would you recommend others to do an internship in a micro-enterprise in Sweden?
It is a pleasant experience but hard at start due to practical difficulties such as finding a place to stay and the fact that startups do not pay any salary to their interns.
General suggestion to fellow students: Start looking for internships as soon as the 8th semester kicks off.
ABOUT Dimitrios Palyvos
Study program at AAU: MSc in Industrial design, Department of Architecture and Design, AAU
About Inkonova: Inkonova is a start-up, micro-enterprise located in Stockholm, Sweden, that designs drones.