Intern To Leadership Team In 12 Months
15th Nov 2021
How Danie Ferrusi went from being an intern to a member of Stakester's leadership team in just 12 months!A celebratory guest feature, originally published by the Stakester team 🌟
Distance is just a number
Over a year ago, Danie Ferrusi was working as an IT manager at a boarding school in New York. However, she had bigger plans for her career in the tech industry and pursued freelance UX work with a stable client base before the pandemic hit hard.
It was hard enough for Danie being stuck at home and on furlough, but the freelance market had taken a serious hit. As nice as it was to wind down playing on Animal Crossing for a while, Danie wanted to get back into the workforce. That was when she found a job posting for an internship at a UK gaming startup called Stakester.
It was the perfect opportunity for her, but her main concern was the location: it was halfway across the globe. Luckily, Danie discovered that Stakester had a 'work from anywhere' policy that gave her the final boost she needed to apply. The temporary role and title didn't put her off, because she had a feeling that she would be the best candidate.
Skills matter the most
In preparation for the interview that was about to change her career, Danie immediately downloaded the app and made a grievance list of everything she wanted to change. She knew that her strategy would be bold: “I told them all the things I hated during the interview. I'm going to tell you exactly what you don't want to hear, but it's what you need to hear.”
Her confident approach and level of insight made a real impact on the interview: solidifying the 7 second first impression. All it took was some brutal honesty and confidence in her own ability — and it certainly stuck in the potential employer's memory.
The interview was a success – and even though Danie was overseas – her expertise and confidence was clearly what mattered most. Upon hearing the words, "We've got another interview to do right now, but can we call you back afterwards?", Danie knew she'd got the job.
Given the freedom to thrive
Danie quickly made herself a crucial part of the team in just eight weeks, or in her own words: “It was just me complaining for two months.” Even though she had complete control over her hours, Danie worked hard from 4am with the product team to fix any design issues and produce solutions. Luckily, those early hours were bearable with the free coffee.
Because Stakester's company policies ensure remote workers aren't sidelined, Danie was able to get involved in all areas of the business. Once she realised that customer experience needed some more attention, Danie created her own role as the Head of Customer Success.Now that Danie is settled in her role, she has taken Stakester by storm and owned her success thanks to her work environment. In her own words: “Being able to have full autonomy over my work-life-balance has been a huge benefit. I don’t have to strategically take holidays or monitor sick days. I can take a whole day off “just because”. That sense of freedom is so difficult to find outside of the work culture we’ve created at Stakester. I never have to miss any big or small life moments, regardless of my timezone.”