“You have to get in there with ideas” – WIS Interview

Bela HamidBela Hamid is an energetic and very optimistic chocolate lover that shared with us her experience of working in both corporations and startups.

Apart from her passion for blogging about the entrepreneurial scene at StartupCafe, Bela currently works at Weboo, one of the coolest London startups that act on the digital market. 

Let’s get to know Bela a bit better:

“I graduated from Edinburgh University nearly 3 years ago and went on to work in a variety of roles (B2B sales, marketing and studio management) for a few different SMEs. 

I co-founded StartupCafe in June 2009 which is a fun, informal blog about technology, entrepeneurship, social media where we offer alternative news, opinion and commentary and give startups an opportunity to shout their successes and see who else is on the scene locally.  One day I’ll be a cool entrepreneur and then maybe I’ll get a 60 Second Profile all to myself!

I then moved to Reading and spent a brilliant year at the Thames region of the Environment Agency (a national organisation) in the Regional Communications Team and a year with an NGO (non-governmental organisation) called Capacity Global that campaigns for environmental justice for all.  When my time there came to an end I started working in my current role at Weboo!”

1. What is your current position at Weboo?  

Project and Account Manager

2. Why did you decide to join a startup?  

Startups are highly adaptable; they can make and implement decisions rapidly. The dynamic nature of a startup suits my personality.  I love the energy and excitement! 

3. How have you heard about the (free) position?  

I was at a Launch48 event talking to my current boss when he said that both of his companies were doing very well and he now needed to get someone else on board.  I don’t think he was hinting but I wasn’t going to let that comment lay there!  I jumped in quickly with “Hire me!  My contract comes to an end next month!”  So he asked me to get in touch.

4. Do you think startup employees are different from corporate ones?  

They have to be!  You have to use some initiative, you have to have a personality and make your mark, you have to get in there with ideas, you have to contribute!  Startups typically don’t have robust processes and procedures, organised systems of collecting, storing and communicating information – this isn’t true of large corporations.  You need to be able to endure that inefficiency without going mad and take responsibility for improving the organisation internally regardless of your job title.

5. What do you think is the difference between a startup and a corporation?  

As I’ve answered previously, startups are dynamic, adaptable, exciting and energetic places.  Corporations in contrast tend to be larger, slower to respond and frightened of change / not as quick to innovate.

6. One thing that you’ve learned while working in Weboo and you couldn’t have learned it in a corporation:

Oooh, there are lots! Ok, it may seem like a small thing but Gmail is a bloody fantastic productivity tool and learning to use it well will pay off HUGELY!  I’ve temped in many large orgs and they use clumsy systems – none have provided access to Gmail.  Shortly after starting Weboo, I learnt all sorts of short cuts (I now never need to take my hand off the keyboard to get a disobedient mouse to obey me!), and given that about 50% of my working day consists of reading, replying, archiving, labelling, moving, sorting emails, I really feel the difference in my performance.

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