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A cool way to travel to Finland – Volunteer for SLUSH

Have you ever thought about doing volunteer to travel? Do you want to hear about the experience of a volunteer for SLUSH? You can find all the answer in this article 🙂

 

A little about SLUSH

Slush is a student-driven, non-profit movement originally founded to change attitudes toward entrepreneurship. In 2015, Slush was organized in Tokyo and Beijing for the first time. In 2016, Slush is spreading to Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore.

 

Held during the darkest time of the year in Helsinki, Finland, Slush has always been characterized by a unique energy and enthusiasm. The very core of Slush is to facilitate founder and investor meetings and to build a world-wide startup community.

 

Arriving

Helsinki welcomed me with all the cold and darkness on the evening of November 28th. As a volunteer of a Nordic team, I was arranged an accommodation near Alto University in Espoo for 1 week. It was really nice that SLUSH team had arranged someone to pick the volunteers up, and went with us all the way from Helsinki central station to Espoo.

 

At first, I was a bit disappointed with the accommodation when there were 18 beds in just one room. It surely created an uncomfortable environment to sleep or do normal activities because there were too many people in the same room. However, as time passed by and we became closer, I realized that it was actually a good way to stick to new people and build up a relationship.

 

Training Day

At first, each volunteer received a T-shirt with a small sports bag. My team leader showed us around the venue, and I was totally stunned of how big the venue was and how much efforts to create such a huge event. Since I worked in a registration team, I had a small training regarding how to use a printer. I also receive a long guidance about how to deal with all the problems might occur during the job. After that, each volunteer took a personal picture, and we took a group picture together.

 

Volunteer for SLUSH

In the first day, I had to wake up at 5 am to prepare and catch a bus from Espoo to Helsinki. Although it was really early in the morning,  everyone in the team still had full of energy to welcome all the participants.

At the beginning of the shift, I was in charge of instructing the guesses to a meeting area, and then just went back with the registration job until 2 pm.

In the second day, the job was much more relaxing because not many people came to take their badge, so the shift was shorter and I had more time to explore the events. By working in the registration team, I learned how to interact with the customers and how to deal with the problems, as well as working in a group.

 

What happened in SLUSH 2016?

If someone asked me to describe SLUSH in 1 word, I would use Majestic!

There were 17500 people participated in SLUSH during two days, and there were totally 2000 volunteers working their best to create the event! The venue was so large that you could even get lost!

Furthermore, at the same time, there were many activities happening. There were Founder Stage, Black Stage, Green Stage, Pitching Stage, Engine Room and Speaker Studio at the SLUSH venue. In every stage, there were always some keynote speakers presenting, sharing their ideas, and then there were questioning parts.

Also, there were a lot of stand from startup companies, who came to SLUSH to present their products, seek for funding, create awareness and especially create Networking!

 


SLUSH day 1 party – Pre After SLUSH party – After SLUSH party – After after SLUSH party

Work hard, Party harder!

 

It seems to me that there were countless parties during SLUSH week.

On 30th November night, I went to a SLUSH day 1 party, where 3 Finnish bands performed their best songs. The most interesting activity in this event was the Silent Disco dance. It was really funny if you don’t wear a headphone while others do, and you see them dance crazily in silent.

It was a great event because people could enjoy music, dancing, and meeting new people at the same time. All the participants dressed up nicely and built up their networking.

 

But the real party was on 1st December!

 

I joined the Pre SLUSH after party at Microsoft HQ. There were buses driving people from SLUSH venue to the party location! They had a free open bar, with beers, gin and tonic and other cocktails, and music of course! It was really nice when you can meet lots of entrepreneurs, investors, etc. and having talks while enjoying all the free drinks!

 

The official After SLUSH party started from 9 pm. It was as same as a festival when there were performances every stage! Many people in suits were partying, drinking, dancing and discussing business. And yes, again it was free drinks 🙂 This party was one of the best parties that I have ever attended.

 

Conclusion

SLUSH is a great event to meet new people and build your network! Also, you will surely feel motivated when joining SLUSH. There are parties, drinks, music and cold too. If you are interested in entrepreneurship, SLUSH is an event that you should not miss!

Although it’s not a good idea to go to Helsinki at the end of November, give it a try, and it will be one of the best memories in your life.  I was one of the badasses who came to Helsinki at the end of November just to volunteer for SLUSH. So will you?


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