Valeriia: Hi Mio. Great to have you here today. I think today we will have a little bit of a different video interview. Compared to other discussions that we had with Homelike is before today we’re going to focus more on your personal journey.
What brought you to Homelike and your first impressions of the company since you are still quite a recent joiner?
I believe it has already been three months. So yeah, please feel free to introduce yourself. I would love to hear a little bit more about your field of interest. Your expertise and what your career journey was like.
Mio: Yeah, sure. So, yeah, my name is Mio and I’m half Japanese and half Irish. And I’m living in Dusseldorf currently.
And like you said, yeah, I’ve been working at Homelike for three months now as a UX designer. I have a background in graphic design. So I’m quite a creative person.
And basically last year I took a UX design course, which took about six months to complete, and then was able to join Homelike in November, which was a really cool thing. I’m happy to be a UX designer here.
Valeriia: How did you actually find out about Homelike? What attracted your attention to apply in the first place?
Mio: I would say I first came across Homelike on LinkedIn when I was job searching. So my job search criteria was basically an international company. Also an English speaking, one of course, and a tech company as well.
So those were some things I was just looking for in a company and also like the opportunity to work in a product team as a UX designer and learn and grow from everyone and working together as a team, that was something I really wanted to have in my next job.
And yeah, I would say Homelike ticked a lot of those boxes and I’m really happy now to be working in a product team. A really great one and I think there’s a great tech culture going on at Homelike, so, yeah, that’s the story.
Oh, and also wanted to find a job within the Düsseldorf / Cologne area. So that also was cool that I found Homelike.
Valeriia: You found each other 😀 Very cool.
So back in November, once you were on board what was your first impression of the team of the company?
Mio: Oh I would say, my first week joining, it was really cool to see so many new releases happening on the product side, like new features.
And every other day there would be a Slack notification about a new launch of a feature and I thought that was really nice to have, the feeling that new things are happening and things are always changing.
I think that was a strong impression of mine. And I was really excited to start being a part of that and, you know, getting onboarded onto the projects and generally the team was super welcoming to me and answered to any questions that I had and, you know, It was a good product tech onboarding week or two I had.
And even in a remote setup, I think it worked really well.
Valeriia: Okay. Yeah, that’s good to hear for sure. I mean, last year I would say it was definitely quite active. Like the product tech team definitely did a great job there. So I think also with the US expansion you when everything was happening and Homelike was growing like crazy.
So like overall your onboarding experience was all right, and you got enough support and guidance even through the remote setup that we had?
Mio: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Like, I think going into it, I was a bit skeptical how the remote, like fully remote onboarding, would be just cause I’d never experienced it before.
But yeah. Actually having the remote onboarding, it was a lot more chilled and relaxed than I imagined, which I’m really thankful for. And I think it gave me a lot of time also to just absorb everything and understand the strategy and the company goals and how the product team is working together and things like that.
So yeah, I would say it was quite successful. Nice and relaxed as well.
Valeriia: Yeah. Nice. I think in the last few years, everyone was figuring out how to deal with this and like complete onboarding in the remote setup. I mean, it wasn’t done before that often. So I guess now it kind of has more support and support from Homelike, which makes it also easier.
Mio: And I think the demo day, every week also helps as well. Different departments and teams presenting what they’ve been working on so far, you know, in the week or the month.
I kind of feel like all the teams coming together and being able to see what everyone’s working on and collaborating on as well – that’s pretty nice.
Valeriia: Yeah, certainly demo day. Super helpful, for sure. But like now after three months at Homelike how is it going also with you with remote work?
Do you have the feeling of inclusivity and how do you in general, you and your team maintain the team spirit?
Mio: Yeah. Good question. I would say something that pops into my mind is during the last Christmas time we, as a product and tech team had a secret Santa event.
All remote, and that was really cool to see finally, everyone in the product and tech team together and yeah, those kinds of events, really, you get a feeling that you all part of, quite a big team actually.
And I’m really looking forward to this year’s more remote or even in-person hopefully events as well.
So yeah, things like that really help me to feel more integrated. And also I’m a part of the discovery team, where I take care of the home page and search side. We have stand-ups every day where watch up and we tell each other what we’ve been working on and we collaborate also.
And we have regular meetings as a team. So I think that also has helped me feel like, yeah, more integrated, more a part of the team, and have this constant communication, even if we’re all working remotely. So those kinds of things really help, I would say.
Valeriia: This is so nice. I mean, definitely good to hear that it’s working out so great.
I guess, from the HR side, in my opinion, it’s not easy to support the balance and keep the team spirit in a remote setup. That is why we really want to be involved in these certain kinds of events and company parties in the future.
Of course, once the regulation allows that to just, yeah, bring everyone together from time to time.
That would be nice. So something to look forward to. Yeah. But yeah.
Anyway, tell me more about what happened in the last few months. Have you already managed to face any challenges or like, what are your projects at the moment? What is the most exciting one?
Mio: Yeah, it feels like it’s been more than three months just because there’s been a lot of things happening and already like working on some projects, which is super exciting for me.
And even like small features that I worked on maybe a month or two ago are now either on an AB test or released, which is really, really exciting as a new joiner, you know, to already have a few things live.
We also have a lot of cool and exciting things planned for this year and Q1.
So far, I’m working on some quite big and challenging projects, which are both exciting, but yeah, of course, challenging.
But really, that’s kind of like motivation for me each day. I like solving problems and it’s really cool that every day there is something different to work on.
So I could be doing a usability test one day, the next I could be holding a workshop, the other, I could be designing a wireframe or a prototype. So I think that’s what’s really fun for me in my day-to-day work. And I guess the most exciting project I’m working on right now is redesigning the apartment details page.
That’s quite a big project.
Valeriia: Yeah. I can imagine. That is so true. I guess the challenges and also the advantages of all of that, but you moved so fast, from little projects and like little support, so like major tasks and responsibilities that you’re taking care of right now.
That’s impressive. I guess you are definitely on the right track.
Mio: I have a lot of support from the other UX designer and just the team in general. I think I really appreciate that they trust my skill and capabilities and kind of give me also the freedom to like explore different ideas and voice my opinions, how we should do things, and propose new ideas. I really liked this open communication with the teams. So, yeah. Yeah, it’s been really good.
Valeriia: Support and open communications. These are the key aspects for sure. Yeah. Lovely. All right.
I mean, we had a great chat today. I would love to do it again sometime next year.
Mio: Yeah. I’d be happy to have another chat again.