It has been almost a year since I left France and came to work for Prezi. When the company offered me the opportunity to do my end-of-studies internship in Budapest as a developer, I hadn’t even graduated. At the time, I had already accepted an internship at another company based in Paris. When I changed my mind and opted to work for Prezi instead, it was probably the best decision I made all last year.
I have lived in France my entire life, except for a brief internship in Santa Cruz and two semesters as an exchange student in Quebec City. During my time outside of my native country, my thoughts and beliefs about the software industry changed radically. It was ingrained in me during my studies that after graduation I would work as a project manager, leading people in a big company, where you are seen as just another number. This wasn’t something I wanted to do — and I now saw that I didn’t have to. Fortunately, it’s worked out for me to be more than just a cog in the wheel of a large corporation.
Back at school, a couple of my friends were using Prezi. They described it as, “this cool eastern European startup.” That piqued my interest enough to visit the website and look for open positions. Even though I was tired of interviewers asking me to solve puzzles and do math, I applied for the internship at Prezi. The interview process was really different. I realized during the first few moments that I would like working for this company because I knew right away that I shared a lot of the same values that Prezi upholds.
As a student without any previous startup experience, I wasn’t sure that I would fit in at Prezi. But my assessment week really showed me that it was possible. I flew from Canada to Hungary in February of last year, not knowing anything about Budapest, the language, or the people. I was immediately surprised by what an amazing and energetic city Budapest is. During my assessment week, I was asked to work on one of the biggest issues Prezi had at the time. I was worried because I was completely out of my comfort zone, using programming languages and tools I didn’t know, but it was a great feeling to be thrown into the deep end. It forced me to work with the engineers around me. I learned much more about how software is developed during one week at Prezi than I had in one year anywhere else. Even with all this new knowledge, I still left Budapest with the feeling that I wasn’t anywhere near finished.
As the weeks went by, I had to give an answer to my school about the company where I was going to do my internship. I thought about how much I had liked it at Prezi and how I could develop my skills there, and I ended up changing my mind about taking the internship I’d been offered in Paris. Instead, I decided to go with my gut and say yes to Prezi. In the end, it wasn’t hard to move here, it was exciting, and it still is.
At Prezi, every day is different. We work fast and we improve constantly. This is possible because everyone here cares about sharing ideas and continuing to make Prezi better. It’s more than simply working in an office, you get to work with friends in an amazing environment. What I like the most (even more than having dogs in the office, being able to play ping-pong every day, having some cool evenings drinking Unicum in Budapest’s best bars, and the ski trips) is the fact that I learn something new every day. We organize reading seminars, brown bag talks, and programming breakfasts, where you can learn the basics of a new programming language in few weeks. We attend conferences around the world, and we all have the opportunity to work from our San Francisco office for a few weeks each year.
At Prezi, people matter. This, to me, is one of the most important qualities you can find in a company. By working alongside so many intelligent and talented individuals, I am improving myself every day. Working at Prezi makes me aware of what I am capable of, and that matters a lot to me.