The coolest pitching event in the world is set up totally by volunteers. As Polar Bear Pitching 2018 gets closer, we wish to introduce you the ones who make it all happen, people behind the red beanies. Volunteers have different backgrounds and they attend for various reasons. We start the series by introducing the story of our marketing coordinator, Riikka.
Behind the beanie
My name is Riikka Keskitalo, and I am a volunteer. Besides that, I am also a student and an entrepreneur. Long story very short, I moved to Oulu four years ago, when I begun with my studies at OUAS in the field of International Business. Things happened in between then and present, and at this moment of time I’m in the middle of finishing my thesis and studies of Bachelor of Business Administration. In between I also ended up putting together my own company and started working as a freelance content provider. So to not get this thing too long, my story with Polar Bear Pitching opens up more things about me and some reasons behind my decision of becoming an entrepreneur.
What - in a nutshell
I attended Polar Bear Pitching first time as a volunteer in 2017, as a member of the marketing team. Prior the event itself I mainly created content for the website and Facebook page. I got a chance to contribute planning the content and to coordinate the content group. In practice I interviewed people, wrote texts, created graphics, promoted, took photos and made Facebook posts. During the event days my focus was on the two latter ones. On the day of finals I kept the channel busy together with one great pal and a bunch of photographers.
The tasks I did for the event were pretty much the same I have been doing as a freelancer now, which are naturally the things I like to do. It was nice to have English as a working language, as it’s the language of my degree and I enjoy international environment. In Polar Bear Pitching English is used generally everywhere, giving opportunity also for international students to attend and gain experience and new contacts.
One absolutely positive pro of attending as a volunteer was to get a chance to network with so many great people. Polar Bear Pitching gathers together makers, doers and creators, inspiring and active people from various fields in forms of startups, volunteers and companies. All in all, people who are fun to work with, and in some cases they can be future coworkers or employers. A good network is crucial in business field, especially when looking for a job - or working as a freelancer.
How it all started
I got an idea of applying as a volunteer for the 2017 event when a friend of mine recommended me to do it. In November 2016 I was browsing my Facebook newsfeed and came across with an add of volunteer recruitment for Polar Bear Pitching. I applied, but didn’t quite know what to wait for. I assumed to gain new experiences and get new contacts, but amounts and quality of them overcame all my perquisites. In the middle of enhancing new skills I got new friends and awesome memories, deeper understanding of the startup scene and learnt of the art of organising an event, just to mention a few.
Will to learn and get always-so-precious experience were my fundamental motivations for applying. Also, I didn’t know what I want to do after graduation, so I decided to start doing things to find it out. Or, to find out what I do not want to do. Which way around, it worked. I got a chance to do things I was interested about, which eventually led me to find my inner entrepreneur.
Why to do it again
Polar Bear Pitching is not only about business, it is about having a positive impact on Oulu, its startups scene and giving opportunities to students. I find the values of the concept important and I want to contribute them, so consequently, now I am a member of the board and run second time as a volunteer. This is a great chance to develop myself and my skills further with a great team, which I do this time as a marketing coordinator. I really look forward to our next year’s event, and it is gonna be (again) bigger than ever!
So welcome on board!
We’re looking for new volunteers to grow with us, so if you feel like being the next Marketing Enthusiast, Social Media Wizard, Story Writer, Growth Hacker, Master of After Party, Rainmaker or Visual Designer, do not hesitate to fill the application form! We recruit people continuously and invite the matching people to join our crew. Your interests towards tasks are widely taken into account, so this is your chance to burst into creativity and test your wings on things you have always wanted to try!