DataTjej of the Month: Elin Nilsson

Name: Elin Nilsson
Age: 26
Workplace: Spotify
Pluggat: Civ. Ing. Interaction and Design at Umeå University
Active year: 2012-13
Role in Data Girl: Communication Manager for the conference

Can you tell us how you ended up at your workplace and what your duties are?
I actually ended up here through Data Girl! At the 2015 conference in Gothenburg, it was a cozy evening on Spotify the night before, and then they got a chance to apply for internships for the summer. I had already searched before but got no answer, so tried again, and then it went the way! So I was summer-intern that summer, then I did my degree work there, and then I stayed. I am an Android developer, and work in a team that is responsible for making other teams build new things in the app easier and faster. It includes development of frameworks, tools, API design and system design, and a lot of communication and collaboration with the teams we try to help, so we know what they have problems with and how we can help.

Why did you get involved with DataTjej and what role did you have?
The conference was to be held in Umeå, and when they were gathering the project team, I remember that I wanted to apply. I had just decided not to do it (I only went first year and had zero experience with such large projects) when our vice-project manager pinged me on facebook and said she thought I would apply. With the little push I was looking for, and it is one of the most fun projects I've been on, I learned so much about myself and made such great friends throughout the project. So I have Ida-Maria to thank for my commitment! I was in charge of communications, and emailed and texted more than I ever did before.

What is your best memory of your time at DataTjej?
For me, the conference itself was a top memory, especially to get to meet all the participants really. After spending months with the nose in excel sheets and the mailbox and memorizing names and orientations and everything like that, it was incredibly rewarding to actually see that there was a person behind every line and email address.

Say three things we didn't know about you / describe you as a character:

  • I think climbing is among the most fun there is, and about when this interview is published I am in Lofoten in Norway and climbing around a lot of rock walls.
  • I have recently gone from not being able to keep even a cactus alive to having 35 lush plants at my house. The trick is to google easy-care plants, and then buy them! (Cacti are actually difficult to manage if they cannot stand in direct sunlight type evenly.)
  • At Spotify we have karaoke nights for new employees a couple of times a year. I'm a frequent trunk guy at that stage, my go-to karaoke boot is Thrift Shop with Macklemore.

What is your best interview trick?
Be your true self. Say nothing you think anyone wants to hear, say if you don't remember or know the answer to a question, and when telling about experiences and projects, remember to not just talk about what it was or whether it was good or bad, but focus what you learned and how you grew. If something you did went right to the beep, tell them about it! It is when things go bad that we learn to improve. If I had interviewed someone today, I would have told them how stressed I was when I balanced 10's commitment and projects at the same time, and how I thereby learned to prioritize, and that you cannot say YES to just about everything, even if everything seems fun.

Are you an old Data Girl and want to tell your story? Or do you have any tips on questions we can ask for the next interview? Feel free to contact us at kontakt@datatjej.se.

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