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Playing for team byrd

I grew up sleeping in byrd-themed bed linen.


Well, that is what I would say if I were a professional football player who just started playing for a new team. The truth, however, is that I do not really remember when I first learned about a small company called byrd, that I would identify with 100% after only “playing” there for a little more than a year. Fast forward to now, I am part of the awesome marketing team and our task is to create as many high-quality chances as possible for our beloved strikers - the sales team, to score (or close a deal in our case).

Sticking to the football terms, I was a young enthusiastic player of Vienna´s academy for young motivated Marketing students.

How it all started

I just finished my Bachelor in Business and Administration and was preparing to begin the Marketing Master program at Vienna Business and Economics University called WU. Sticking to the football terms, I was a young enthusiastic player at Vienna´s academy for young motivated Marketing students. That was the time when David, my current team member, coach, and in many areas also a  role model, reached out to me asking if I was interested in joining a startup company called byrd. This was more of a follow-up conversation, as I did reach out to him a year or two prior, telling him that I would be glad if he would consider me in case there was a vacancy in the marketing department.

So, I went to the office at the famous Mariahilferstraße (awesome location) to have my trial training (or interview) with David and one of the co-founders, Petra. From the first second since I have entered the office I felt the welcoming spirit (even though Natalie's "cute" dog Maya, seemed like she was ready to kill me - well, I might be a little overdramatic at this point. Also, after buying some treats, we became good friends). Coming back to the main story and of course some semi-suitable football references, I was, naturally, nervous before talking to the two people that could make my dream of joining byrd possible. So I talked to my future coach and the sporting director if you will.

It was an easy-going talk and it did not feel like a typical interview. However, when I left I felt a little insecure as I thought that I was probably a little too honest about my abilities (I don't feel comfortable telling people that my biggest "weakness" is that I work too hard, and similar things that you are taught to say in these situations). Nevertheless, after a few days, David reached out to me asking me to become a byrdie. Jackpot!

At a later point in time, Petra told me that the most important thing, when it comes to hiring at byrd, is the personality and that they primarily look for people who are smart and, most importantly, fit the team.

Wake me up when September ends

So, September came and I began my journey at byrd - I made my debut for my new team. At the same time, the first semester of my master's program at the university started. And as if this was not enough action, I also moved to another flat in September - timing is key, I guess.  I have to admit that I felt overwhelmed at the beginning but with the help and understanding of David and the rather small team at that time, we managed to have a smooth onboarding process. Soon I built great chemistry with my colleagues and quickly people like Inni, David, and many others became more than just colleagues.

I can still vividly remember that one of the first things about byrd I told my girlfriend was, that I was amazed by the team spirit that I can still feel each and every day that I spend at the office. This feeling intensified a lot after my first “away game”. The first trip to Berlin provided the opportunity to get to know all other members of the team in the Berlin office. I believe that most of the colleagues I met didn't realize how much of a boost in motivation it is for a newbie to be welcomed with open arms and only smiling faces. That weekend I experienced what it meant to be a part of byrd and after extremely productive days and valuable discussions, we also enjoyed several beers together to seal the deal, so to speak.

Trust is our foundation

Coming back to Vienna, I quickly adapted to the culture at byrd. For me, the most important cornerstones of our core values are “trust is our foundation” and “team first, everything else second”. I can assure you that the company and also the team leaders live up to these principles. One example I can clearly remember is, when I asked David, the head of marketing, how tracking of the working hours works. David just pointed at the poster hanging on the wall that says that trust is our foundation. I am convinced that this is the right approach, as I know from my personal experience when someone puts trust in you, you will be reluctant to take  advantage of it in a bad way. Also, “the team is always the best player on the pitch” holds true for sports as well as for business.

Leadership at byrd

What I really enjoy at byrd is that you can learn a lot from various different people. Be it Petra or  Alex, two of the founders who always seem to be composed, stable, and positive, keeping the whole company on track and giving everyone a sense of direction. They give everyone the feeling that there is a solution to everything and enable everyone to learn, be creative, and most importantly, to learn from experience (that is what I call mistakes that turn to growth opportunities). Moreover, David, the playing-coach of the Marketing team, Ziga my dear colleague and magician when it comes to design, and Inni, an actual magician who makes being at the office so much more fun, are people that I learn from on a professional and personal level daily. I could proceed with this list for another handful of pages but I will stop here now. One thing is sure, in case there is a challenge in front of you, you’ll never walk alone.


Study while working, at this company that's not a byrden

What might be especially interesting for someone reading this is how is it like to work at byrd while studying. I truly believe that there is no other company that is more flexible, understanding, and supportive in that regard. You want to have an example for that? Ok, I am writing this while doing my exchange semester in Maastricht - an awesome city by the way. This would not be possible for the majority of other companies. While COVID-19 made many companies more flexible with home-office regulations, byrd accepted my request before home-office was even mainstream. Being here in the Netherlands while experiencing how the company expands to this country is even more fun for me. By the way, byrd started as a very small business in Austria, expanded to Germany followed by the UK. Now French and Dutch e-commerce companies can benefit from our warehouses in their countries. In the long run, we want to be the European champions, talking football again, our goal is to win the Champions League.

Coming back to my personal experience, from the first day onwards  I had the feeling that even though I am just a student, a lot of trust and responsibility was put in me and I could take part in discussions from day one. Also, everybody is encouraged  and supported to take the lead in new ideas, regardless  of what your job title is.

Fulfill your Potential – or in my case FulPhill your byrdential

As mentioned a few times already, byrd has been allowing me to learn new skills by trying them out in practice - I guess "learning by doing" would be the right expression.  To give you an example, I am very passionate about SEO (search engine optimization) and to be honest, one and a half years ago I didn't even know what that meant. Now, checking some relevant numbers before going to bed is just as normal as brushing my teeth.

To put all of this in a nutshell. I have only started my second “season” at byrd, but to be honest I have already learned more working here than I did  during my studies (please don't tell my university). I have met awesome people, experienced an amazing growth of the company (I started when there were around 30 employees, now it's more than 80), and working at byrd does not feel like work (I know that sounds cheesy but that might be the Dutch influence #Gauda - and of course it is true).

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About the author

Phillip is a young start-up and content marketing enthusiast, who likes puns and dad jokes a little too much for his age. Besides playing football and watching American football, he gets a little too excited about every sport Austria performs well in. Moreover, he loves to travel and going out with friends #whatatimetobealive. His motto in life is to accept the situation or change it.


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