From Student to Full-Time Professional: My Journey at trivago
Most people, including me, are sorely familiar with the anxieties and the excitement of approaching the end of their studies. There’s a sudden shift, and the questions that you once dismissed as things for your future self to handle, start to command your immediate attention. Being in the middle of a pandemic with reduced social contact and online school at that stage of my life, I had ample time to think about those questions.
I thought about what I wanted to do, what environment I wanted to do it in, whether I could successfully enter a job market in a field with a relatively high barrier of entry, and to be honest, whether I even had a good idea of what I was getting myself into. Regardless of the question, the answer I kept arriving at was to kick-start my career by working as a student first. And so began my search!
I knew of trivago long before I even entertained the possibility of working there, but interestingly enough, it was a book club that ultimately led me to trivago. Stuck at home during the pandemic and wanting to resume a life of meeting new people and discussing various ideas, I joined an online book club based in Düsseldorf. When one of the book club members mentioned that they worked as a data scientist at trivago, a field that I was becoming increasingly interested in, I immediately knew that I would be looking for suitable positions there as soon as our meeting ended. How could I not have known that trivago was based in Düsseldorf, the city I had long begun calling home?
One application, case study, and interview later, I accepted an offer to join trivago as a working student in data analysis and engineering in January 2022.
I was elated. I had liked everything I had read and seen about the company, but that’s only ever just one piece of the puzzle. The interview experience confirmed that trivago was definitely a company I wanted to work at. The entire process felt like a true representation of the culture within the company. (Spoiler: I was not disappointed.)
In my first few days, I made my best attempts at being highly professional, or at least my misinformed idea of what professionalism required, namely being tirelessly serious and refraining from showing too much personality. That did not last very long. I intently observed my colleagues and saw the ease with which their conversations flowed, how they were beautifully themselves, and how every interaction exuded an air of trust and friendship, all while maintaining admirable levels of respect and care about the quality of their work. That led me to realize my mistake in assuming that I had to be a fraction of who I usually was in order to be taken seriously and deemed professional enough. That, along with the diversity of characters and backgrounds not only in the company, but even in the individual teams, became and has continued to be my favorite thing about trivago.
While I did have expectations for the work I’d do and how I’d contribute to the team and trivago, a team restructuring before I started meant that the scope of my responsibilities also had to change. Though I initially expected to fill a support role, primarily for the data analysts and data scientists, the changing needs of the team also allowed me to get a glimpse into the world of project management, an area I previously had very little exposure to.
As I grew within my role, I began to connect with other students working across different teams and units within trivago. I came to understand that despite the similarity of some job profiles, most of us had various responsibilities with little to no overlap, in no small part due to the diversity of topics and products within the company.
The flexibility afforded to students in the form of choosing working days, taking academic leave on exam days, and vacation days, ensures that one can manage work, school, and personal lives.
It was, however, a challenge for me to shut off the part of me that wanted to stay up to date about everything happening in the team outside my working days. I had initially worried that my occasional absence would make me feel less invested in the products we were working on or less connected to the team, but I grew to understand that there was more to consider. My seamless integration into the team and unit, along with a desire to learn and contribute, all while being invested in the team’s wellbeing and success, would always be enough to help me feel ownership, ambassadorship, and connected to my peers. With time and reassurance from my teammates, who always went to great lengths to support and encourage me, I truly felt I belonged in the team, despite not being around all the time as a working student.
As time went on, my interest in continuing to pursue a career at trivago only grew and when an interesting position opened up in my very own team, I knew I had found my next exciting challenge. At the beginning of 2023, as I transitioned into a full-time position as a backend software engineer in my beloved team, it occurred to me that I had already discovered the answers to almost all the questions I had been asking myself over a year ago. I’m ecstatic that I was able to find those answers at trivago!
Thanks to Backend Software Engineer Anahita Gorgipour for writing this article! If you’d like to be an intern or student at trivago, keep an eye on our open positions: