More than eight months ago, Maria Paula Caicedo joined the bsurance team as the Business Development Intern. Maria Paula comes from the second most biodiverse country in the world, Colombia, and came to Vienna to study in the WU Vienna Master program in Strategy, Innovation, Management, and Control to pursue her dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
To cover insights after internship completion, we spoke to Maria Paula, covering her learnings and a glimpse into her everyday life at bsurance.
How did you learn about bsurance?
I learned about bsurance at Entrepreneurship Avenue an event organized by my master’s program and WU Vienna, aimed to encourage students to start their entrepreneurial journey and get inspired by other startups while participating in the job fair or seeing pitches. Specifically, I saw bsurance at the job fair and was quite interested in the company’s background and internship offered in Business Development.
What sparked your interest in joining bsurance?
One of the main reasons I was interested in joining bsurance was the industry I am familiar with – Insurance. The reason behind such interest is the fact that one of my parents works as an Insurance lawyer. And the technological side of the industry has sparked my interest because that’s not what you expect from such a traditional sector. Another factor was that I wanted to work in a startup. In the past five years, I have worked in the Finance sector in a company still in the growth phase. I really enjoy the startup culture and the fact that there are many projects to do and opportunities to learn while the company is evolving.
While working in the startup, your contribution is very valuable and present compared to companies that have been in the market for twenty years. That was my motivation to join the bsurance team.
What were your expectations before joining bsurance?
To start with, I knew the internship was in Business Development, which was a different area from what I have worked in so far. I expected to learn more about how Business Development works for the startup and what strategies and approaches are used to grow the company from scratch. My expectations have been fulfilled, and I have learned more about the day-to-day activities of the dynamic startup. Besides, I wanted to explore the InsurTech industry, as I was not very familiar with it, and I learned a lot.
What did your day-to-day internship role consist of?
My day always started with a team’s daily call, which helped me understand what projects other colleagues are working on and how the company is operating. In the beginning, I was focused on competitor analysis, analyzing organizations and competitors in the InsurTech Industry – searching for market similarities, things that could be improved, and developing an extensive overview of competitors all over the world – that was very interesting!
Afterward, I focused mainly on content development – first, support in proofreading, content editing, and, after some time, being in the lead of content development by myself. Then, for the rest of my internship, I was mainly part of the digital growth team, where I worked with objectives like lead generation via content and social media, responsible for newsletter and content marketing plan.
Maria Paula introduces her business idea to the mentors on the first day of the Startup Live Global event, Photo credit: Startup Live Global from Zero21
Last but not least, I worked in the buyer persona development process, which was very interesting as, at the beginning, I didn’t know much about the industry, but buyer profiles helped me to understand the industry even better. Besides, due to my background in finance, I had an opportunity to co-work with the company’s CEO, giving feedback on financial data.
How would you describe the culture of bsurance?
I describe the culture of bsurance as very welcoming – from day one, all employees treated me as if I had always been part of the company.
I felt like I belonged on the team, and I felt very welcomed. Also, although it was challenging to do team building during the pandemic, once we had the opportunity, it was nice to see that the organization was looking forward to integrating the team via different events such as surfing day, monthly lunch talks, and the Christmas party.
Also, bsurance has an entrepreneurial spirit, encouraging employees to learn new things, improve, get better, and if anything is needed, the founders will mentor you and are always open for feedback or a chat. Also, flexibility, the opportunity to work from home, and the company’s mastery of managing employees remotely and in a physical office were essential assets. I like the culture here.
Name 3 memorable projects/things about bsurance
First, the competitor analysis project – since the competitor analysis was one of my first tasks since I got into bsurance, it allowed me to deep dive into the InsurTech industry from the beginning and learn who the leading players are and what they are doing to transform the insurance industry. I think this was super important to see what our peers are doing in terms of product development and expansion as well as content creation.
Second, Growth Team workshops – once a month our workshop within the Growth Team took place, where we updated each other on the progress of our projects and defined monthly and quarterly goals for the team. I always found these workshops very interesting since it allowed me to not only align my tasks with the goals of the team but also learn how the business development process works and what goes behind lead generation.
bsurance´s autumn team-building event – catching waves in Vienna
Lastly, bsurance’s team-building events – I considered the team-building events an essential part of the company, especially in COVID times when you don’t get to know everyone from the beginning. Going surfing or sharing typical dishes from our eleven different nationalities at the Christmas party were some of my most memorable events.
After completing her internship, equipped with valuable lessons and insights, Maria Paula pursues her career in the shoes of an entrepreneur – launching her first startup – a financial literacy app for children. When asked what advice she would give someone thinking of joining bsurance, Maria Paula adds,” If you are someone who is eager to learn more about how a startup operates and grows, and if you want to experience firsthand how digitization is transforming the insurance industry, then bsurance is the place for you.”