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02 Aug 2019

When I started at R3 in July 2018 as a working student helping mainly with accounting and administrative matters, I wasn’t really expecting a lot from my new job. I wanted to work at a start-up because I liked the idea of seeing how a young company evolves, what challenges arise, and how they get tackled. For no reason would I have imagined being on a business mission in Singapore and Thailand a year later.

A couple of months ago, I was invited to help the Sales Team to grow and develop. I joined because I thought it’d be a unique opportunity to help building up our sales process and getting to know another side of the company. So, when I was asked whether it was okay for me if we applied for the EU Gateway program, which would mean us flying to South East Asia in the summer for a week, like nearly everybody in the World I said: Hell yeah! I’m in.

Spoiler alert: we got accepted and later in June our adventure started. We arrived on a Monday in Singapore and the hectic week began with an afternoon full of meetings from experts giving us market insights and recommendations for IPR protection: that was real life hardcore market penetration business. In between the meetings we met the other participants who came from all over Europe. The rest of the day was about getting our booth ready for the upcoming fair (NXTAsia Summit 2019) which would last until Thursday. During those days we had good talks and for me personally experiencing how leads are generated at fairs was impressive given that it was my very first experience as an exhibitor. After the hard work, the evening schedule consisted of eating as much as possible of the delicious food Singapore has to offer, sightseeing, and going out with our new friends from the program. Which led Xavi to remark that it felt like a “Professional Erasmus” – work hard, party even harder… and next day early in the morning get back to work. The highlight of the week, of course besides the food, was on Wednesday evening: we had the honour to be invited as guests to a dinner party at the German ambassador’s manor.  We had excellent conversations with experienced people from all over the World, who were glad to share their contacts and useful advice with us.

After three days exhibiting in Singapore it was time for us to fly to Bangkok for, sadly, the last three days of the program. This time we had our small booth inside a stunning hotel only for pre-arranged meetings. Which went surprisingly much better than expected for us. In the last evening we had the best closing ceremony ever:  we were invited to have drinks on the rooftop bar of our hotel (what a fantastic view!) and we said goodbye to the amazing people with whom we had the opportunity to spend the week with.

Remember that I said I did not expect anything special from my student job? Well, this is how R3 rules!