Mentimeter Company Culture

From Stockholm to Sydney: Moving with Mentimeter

Image of Emilia Mänttäri
Emilia Mänttäri2023-11-14

"Opening a completely new office is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and learning more about our APAC customers and supporting our growth in the region would be a fantastic challenge."

Stockholm to Sydney blog post-01

Ever since I started at Menti in 2021 and started hearing the first rumors about us opening an office in the Asia Pacific region (APAC), I knew that was something I wanted to be a part of. I felt that opening a completely new office is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and learning more about our APAC customers and supporting our growth in the region would be a fantastic challenge for me in my role as a Customer Success Manager.

Fast forward two years, and that’s exactly what I’m doing. Thanks to Mentimeter, I was able to exchange the Swedish autumn for a sunny and warm spring, as I now live in Sydney, Australia! I couldn’t be happier to finally be here, building a new life on the other side of the world and learning more and more about the business culture in Australia and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.

The road to Sydney

The process of opening the office has been quite thorough, including everything from a pre-study to a proof of concept project. I got involved in the project at a slightly later stage, when the founding team (consisting of myself and four of my amazing colleagues) was chosen. After that, we started preparing everything that’s needed for the big move, from visa applications to figuring out everything back home, while also setting up a brand new business entity down under.

I admit that this part might not have been everyone’s personal favorite. I remember countless times of speaking to the team and everyone saying they just can’t wait to actually get to Australia… and I had no less than three nightmares about Australian snakes! But I now look back to these moments with the team quite fondly. 

That is, minus the part where my visa application required 39(!) attachments and a field trip to another country for a "tuberculosis-free" stamp. Who knew that was a thing?

Touch down in Sydney

Arrival and settling in

I decided to travel to Sydney a few weeks earlier than most people in the team, and in the end I was extremely happy I did so - it gave me plenty of time to explore different neighborhoods and properly settle in before it was time to get to work for real. This wasn’t my first time moving abroad, but I was actually pleasantly surprised by how smoothly everything went with all the support I got from Menti, which included everything from migration consultancy services to a furniture allowance for my new home.

The first couple of weeks I stayed at an Airbnb right by Coogee Beach, with its stunning sunsets and people living the beach-life dream with endless avocado toasts and sunrise yoga classes. 

I’m still trying to familiarize myself with my new home. I had been to Australia before, but loads of things still surprised me. Like some peculiar local habits. People wake up so early that even with my jet lag waking me up at 4:30am, I wasn’t the first one on the coastal walk! Or the Aussie lingo and pronunciation of place names. It’s almost as bad as the UK! If you’re not from Australia and somehow know that Coogee is actually pronounced could-jee, I am impressed!

Life at Mentimeter Sydney HQ

Two weeks in, I had already found my long-term home, tried at least five different gyms in the neighborhood, and started gearing up the office ahead of everyone else’s arrival, together with our APAC Director Ashleigh. Doing these small random things, such as receiving office furniture deliveries and buying flowers and snacks, has actually been one of my favorite parts so far - it’s refreshing to go around your regular day-to-day tasks and do something else for a change.

Sydney office founding team

The Stockholm office has more than 250 people, while here we’re just six, and the much smaller office comes with both flexibility and a lot of responsibility. And that’s one of the reasons I wanted to take on this adventure - it’s like working for a tiny startup, but with the backing and security from HQ. It’s the best of both worlds!

Embracing a big change

Over time, I’ve gotten more accustomed to everything, and I’ve also found my new routines and a favorite desk at the new office. (Don't tell anyone, but I've claimed it as mine, even though we're of course supposed to have a hotdesk policy…Shhh!) I’ve also met multiple customers in person, which has been absolutely fantastic. It’s quite a different experience to log into Zoom from Stockholm at 6am to build a bond with someone on the other side of the world, than to actually meet them in person and talk about what kind of challenges they are facing.

Now that I have been in Sydney for almost two months, I couldn’t be happier with the move. The experience has given me everything I hoped for and then some, both professionally and personally.

And, perhaps most importantly, I've yet to cross paths with a single snake. Cheers to that!

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