Karol Lukaszewski: Learning is much more than finishing the courses
Who are you?
My name is Karol Lukaszewski and I’m finishing my Master’s Programme in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management at Aalto University School of Business. I’m also a Performance Marketing Specialist at Rovio Entertainment.
Background in Entrepreneurship and career in marketing may seem like an odd match. In reality, working in a fast paced, always changing industry requires a skill set that is much closer to the entrepreneurial mindset than appears at first glance. Ability to adapt and react to changes, learning quickly and eagerly, being open to innovation, pursuing unique opportunities to build competitive advantage - these are just a few among typically entrepreneurial skills that one have to actively use in the field of performance marketing.
What made you choose Finland?
I wish I could give you an answer of how I was captivated by Finnish culture and cuisine, but truth be told I never really chose Finland as my destination. While researching my Master's options I stumbled upon Aalto University, and judging by the photos I thought that "it looked cool". Aalto just happened to be in Finland. It's only after I arrived that it occurred to me that this is the country for me to be. At least for the foreseeable future.
Where did you complete your internship, when, for how long?
My journey in Rovio Entertainment started with a position of Performance Marketing Trainee in May 2021. The traineeship period lasted 5 months, but me and my employer liked each other enough to continue working together ever since.
What were your tasks and in which team?
As a part of the User Acquisition team we set up marketing campaigns to promote mobile games to potential users, and optimize them according to selected KPIs, such as return on investment. Spending money to get users to install the game, is what it essentially is.
When I started my internship I got introduced to ways of working, and very quickly my tasks became not much different from more senior team members. I was given ownership of two marketing channels. The core responsibilities required not only continuous learning about the craft itself, but also specific nuances of the channels, as well as building relationships with channel’s representatives. Later in the internship I also got involved in production of marketing videos. It allowed me to tap more into my creative side too and explore a completely different part of performance marketing. There was certainly no "intern making coffee" situation at any point.
School of Business student Karol Łukaszewski
I like to challenge how things are done and question the status quo to collaboratively find the best possible solutions.
What skills did the internship require?
I’m quite convinced one would not be able to work in performance marketing without strong analytical skills. In practice it means taking the data, combining it with knowledge, from this drawing conclusions and preparing next steps of action. Luckily for me as an Entrepreneurship student, it’s hard to find a course where analytical thinking was not exercised. A decent knowledge of working with spreadsheets is a must, too.
Anything on top of this I see as an extra that defines your exact role within the team, as well as the area you’ll have the most impact on. Maybe you know how to code and can automate a manual, repetitive task? Maybe you have exceptional organizational skills and can streamline an unnecessarily complicated process? Maybe you’re a very likeable social butterfly and you will be the one bringing the team together? In my case, I like to challenge how things are done and question the status quo to collaboratively find the best possible solutions.
What did you learn during your internship?
You'd think my biggest learnings are about performance marketing, but no. Of course I learnt a lot about User Acquisition and mobile games industry, but I grew in so many other areas that I can utilize regardless of the field I work in. I became better in communication thanks to working closely with my team; I further developed my growth mindset and continuous learning; I improved my presentation skills by doing numerous presentations; I even got better at something as mundane as writing emails. Early in your career you grow in so many areas almost passively, and the pace it happens can be really astonishing.
What were your biggest challenges of the internship?
Quite possibly what required the most effort to overcome was adapting to a new work culture. For someone coming from a completely different background it was surprisingly challenging to abide by work ethics that prioritize the employee and work life balance. I had to actively learn to not overwork myself, especially when I was combining internship with studies. This provided me with an opportunity to hone my time management and prioritisation skills, as well as an ability to say “no” - invaluable for the whole career.
Do you have any tips for other students applying for an internship?
Research the position you’re applying to. Chances are, as a student or fresh graduate you’re applying at multiple different roles requiring various skill sets. Try to learn about these fields more than what’s mentioned in the job description. What are the hot topics in the industry? Which portals do they read? What conferences do they attend? What tools do they use? It will help you establish a common language with the recruiters, but will also give you a clearer picture of what you can expect from the role.
What do you do when you don’t work or study?
Given the opportunity I'd spend my days occupying myself with any kind of board sports. Since Finland doesn't usually make it to the first place of "Top surfing retreats" lists, on a day-to-day basis I have to stick to other hobbies. Recently I've been getting more into cooking and baking. There's always been something fascinating in finding new flavours, smells and their combinations. If not this, I’m probably reading or playing games.