Pauliina Törnqvist is a newby at Travian Games. Since September 2017 she has been working with the Munich based browser games developer and publisher as Project Lead. Her answers to our #EmployeeExperience questions are not only giving us an insight, about all-embracing onboarding processes being provided by many companies, but also how straight but still colourful a CV can be.
Games-Career.com: Please, introduce yourself shortly and tell us which department you are working in.
Pauliina: Hello! My name is Pauliina Törnqvist. I’m 25 years old, and I work at Travian Games in Munich as a Project Lead.
Games-Career.com: Since when have you been working with Travian and how can your position be described?
Pauliina: I joined Travian Games in the beginning of September 2017, so it’s only been about three months so far. I am working as the Project Lead for Travian Kingdoms game, and I’m responsible for both the browser and mobile version when it comes to planning, implementation, and releases. I get to lead an awesome team of developers and testers, and it’s my job to ensure everyone knows what we need to do, when it needs to be done, and that the conditions are ideal – be it related to workplace, communication, workflows, pipelines, or tools.
Games-Career.com: How and what were your first week’s experiences at Travian?
Pauliina: My first weeks at Travian were really interesting. What struck me as a surprise when I came here was the instant family-feeling that I got.
Everyone was welcoming and helpful, and due to this it was very easy to ramp-up on my job and tasks. During the first weeks I sat down to talk with a lot of people from both my team, but also from other departments to understand better the Travian ecosystem, while handling all the paperwork related to moving to Germany with my relocation agent. It was an intense period because of having to adapt to a new culture, a new job & company, new country, and new people, but it wasn’t long until I got the hang of things and now I can put all my energy at work to what actually matters.
Games-Career.com: How have you been supported with onboarding at Travian?
Pauliina: I am very thankful and happy about the support I got from Travian when it comes to the relocation and onboarding process. Moving to a new country is always hectic and stressful, and if you don’t speak the local language you will have a lot of trouble getting by without help.
I was provided with an external relocation agent from day one, who helped me to handle all the paperwork and bureaucracy related to moving to Germany. He also searched apartments for me according to my preferences and arranged viewings for them, which was really appreciated, as the housing market competition in Munich is crazy.
After finding my own apartment, my relocation agent also helped me to understand the German rental contract, doing the apartment inspection, and setting up necessary utility contracts such as electricity, internet, and insurances. In addition, he showed me around my new neighbourhood and provided fun-facts about the nearby sights.
Aside from paying for the relocation agency services, Travian reimbursed me for my flight ticket and shipping all my luggage to Germany, as well as for a hotel stay for the first week I spent in Germany.
Travian also does a lot of things at the office to make onboarding for newcomers easier. On my first weeks I got to enjoy breakfast – cooked by our CEO – with other newbies and the CEO, and participate in an HR info session where we got to hear about HR related topics while eating cupcakes. I also had a “buddy” at the office, who helped me to get into the project details, to understand the internal workflows, and to set up my workplace and necessary software.
Overall the onboarding and relocation process was very smooth, and I’m thankful for it because I know it’s not always a given when you relocate to a new country & company.
Games-Career.com: What do you particularly like about your new position?
Pauliina: What I really like about my job at Travian is the trust and freedom the top management gives us as game teams and me personally as a Project Lead. Being a small, self-organized team, we are able to try new things and be more agile than most. Having this freedom to experiment and working on a live game allows us to see the impacts of our decisions very quickly, which allows continuous improvement on both personal and project level. I also like the fact that I get to work with an international and experienced team, since it makes my adapting here easier, being a foreigner myself, and having already an existing foundation to build upon.
Games-Career.com: How did you get to your current position and which career steps have you taken so far?
Pauliina: I have a rather colourful history when it comes to working in games. I started in the industry back when I was still in studying in university in my home country Finland. I did an internship at Rovio Entertainment, during the golden times of the Angry Bird games. I worked in their game operations team for one summer, specializing in localization and game submissions. Although I had always loved playing games, this internship really was the doorway for me to start pursuing a career in the industry. I was studying business administration at the time, but after the internship I started steering my studies more towards tech-related subjects.
After realizing games don’t just pop out of thin air, and that there are actually people working on them, I knew that’s what I want to do too. During my second year in university I founded my own mobile game company together with two friends. We didn’t know much about making games, but we spent time learning the basics of coding and attending a lot of industry events to learn from the more experienced. Although our company never became a huge success, it’s a time I still cherish a lot. We had a blast staring at Unity 3D and wondering what on earth it does, and working on goofy game concepts that never made it out of our garage paper pile.
By the time I graduated university, we agreed with my co-founder friends that our company probably won’t take off anytime soon. We put it to rest, and I moved from Helsinki to Paris, to work at Ubisoft in their head office. I joined their international production team as an Associate Line Producer, but after a few months I took over full Line Producer responsibilities. I got to work on many awesome titles, such as The Crew & The Crew 2, Trials Fusion, Trials of the Blood Dragon, and Anno 2205, and had a great time traveling around Europe to the Ubisoft studios to work together with the local teams whenever the time allowed.
After spending a year in Paris, I decided it’s time to see and do something new, so I relocated inside the company to their Bucharest studio in Romania, to work as a Project Coordinator on an unannounced AAA title. This allowed me to experience more close-up the ups and downs of game development, and I loved every part of it. However, I never felt really at home in Romania, so after a year I decided it’s time to go again.
I knew I want to go to Munich next, as I had already friends and my boyfriend there. I also knew that I want to work in a company that provides more freedom in development, is more agile, and most importantly has knowledge in the Live and GaaS field, since our whole industry is shifting towards it. This meant that Travian Games would be the perfect next step for me. I had played the original Travian in the past (and I loved it), and seeing they had an opening for a Project Lead position, I didn’t wait to apply.
After a short phone interview, I was invited to visit the studio to meet the Travian Kingdoms team and to talk more about the position. I had in total 4 interviews, and a few days after the onsite meetings I received an offer for the Project Lead position. At the time it was July, and 1,5 months later I had packed my bags, and moved from Bucharest to Munich.
Games-Career.com: Do you have any advice you would like to impart to potential applicants?
Pauliina: I think the most important thing I have learned so far at Travian is that your willingness to learn and passion towards what you do, weighs a lot more than past experience. Depending of course on the job you want, there are certain requirements, experiences, or education that is required, but what plays a huge role is the open attitude, friendliness, and drive you have to develop yourself. Travian doesn’t just hire employees who fit the role, but they hire people who fit the team and the company.
Games-Career.com: Since your career entry has been accomplished, which further plans concerning your occupational advancement at Travian do you have?
Pauliina: For now I am very happy with where I am. My job is challenging and I get to learn new things almost on a daily basis. Of course I want to advance in the future and take on more responsibilities on company level, but all in good time. Right now I feel like I am in a good place where I am pushed out of my comfort zone, but still feel excited and motivated. But when I get too comfortable.. That’s when it’s time to (to end in a gaming pun) “level up”.
Pauliina, please stay as agile and enthusiastic as it seems you are – we took much pleasure in having you share your opinions and experiences with us. Thank you!
Interested in working with Travian yourself? Find all recent job opportunities on the company profile.[newsletter]