Climbing the ladder: Experiences of our volunteers who became employees

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Over 2000 volunteers will be lending a hand at Web Summit this year. Many are flying in from afar, others are just around the corner, either way they’re in for a fantastic time.

Inevitably, some volunteers will love us so much that they’ll want to work for us, and a few of them will impress us enough to do just that. Dotted around Web Summit HQ are a number of these volunteers who became employees.

“Holy s**t, this is amazing”

One of whom is Josh Collins. Once a volunteer production team lead at Web Summit 2014, he is now one of our startup consultants. “Web Summit over delivers”, says Josh, “I arrived in on day one and I was like ‘holy s**t this is amazing’”.

Swept up by the atmosphere and impressed by the variety of exciting startups, Josh’s career focus shifted. At the time, Josh was finishing a masters in International Business at University of Limerick. His Web Summit experience made him wonder if he should have done something with more of an IT focus. “It was a complete turning point for me”, says Josh, “I wasn’t focused on tech [before] and then I realised that I loved it.”


“It’s a gold mine of investors, partners, speakers”

Roshani, who was a volunteer on both the partnerships team and the startups team, believes in the importance of networking at the event. “Make use of the platform, network with them, get in touch with them, keep pushing them and then eventually you’ll get what you want,” she says.

It worked for Roshani, who ended up getting an internship at Ding, a startup that had a 4×2 stand at the event. Ultimately, her hustling attitude paid off and following her internship she secured a position at Web Summit on the partnerships team.


“You have to put yourself out there”

For some, the most rewarding aspect of volunteering is networking with so many other volunteers and attendees. Katherine, who volunteered in both 2011 and 2014, is keen to stress the importance of welcoming new experiences, saying that “the more you put yourself out there, the more people you meet at the event”.

Meeting as many people as possible is sure to lead to some memorable moments, as it did for Katherine. She got talking to Noah Heller, CEO of Vhoto and once part of the first team that created XBox, as she guided him to his stage. As they walked, he explained that innovation and a positive company culture were tightly connected. His words resonated with her: “It’s one of the main reasons I wanted to work at Web Summit.” Katherine is now a media coordinator at Web Summit.

We’re growing, rapidly. If you’d like to join us for the ride, check out our open positions.

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