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«Meet the Team» with Elidh

Here comes our fifth post of our series "Meet the Team"!! 😀🎉💪 Today we introduce you to Elidh McDowall, who joined Helvengo in March and is ever since an integral part in our tech team - her expertise as a UX/UI Designer is vital for Helvengo! Click and enjoy the short chat about the sea, creativity and 100% remote work.
20.05.2022
Vanessa Wunderli

At Helvengo we value people over positions. So let’s start with some personal questions before we learn more about your role at Helvengo… First an either or question: Mountains or Sea?

100% the sea… at one point in my travels I was landlocked in Germany for two years and I missed the ocean so badly that I quit my job, moved to Australia, and became a surf instructor for a while. I’ve mostly managed to live by the coast ever since.. I like to stay salty.

Awesome! So I guess it’s no coincidence that you live in a country with 832 km of Atlantic coast. Now tell us, what was your first paying job? 

I’d just finished Secondary School, desperately needed a gap year before university, and managed to score 2 weeks unpaid work experience with a graphic design studio in London (still, to this day I have no idea how..) There, I was basically either making tea for the designers, or sat in a dusty cupboard sorting out their paper archives (yes.. pre-digital, I’m THAT old!). I think that with equal amounts of good fortune and enthusiasm, those 2 weeks of volunteering became a full-time Production Assistant job for the rest of the year. It was the most brilliant opportunity to learn from really talented creatives.. it’s influenced my approach to design ever since.

Helvengo is a Startup based in Switzerland. You work 100% remote as a UX/UI Designer from our legal entity in Portugal. How is that?  What challenges do you think you’ll face working from abroad? What helps to feel part of the team despite the distance?

Well, the remote working revolution over the last few years has proven that with the right technology, location is just a coordinate – and thankfully in the case of Helvengo HQ, that coordinate has only a 1 hour time-difference for meetings 😉

In all sincerity, I’ve never felt isolated or disconnected with the rest of the team, and that’s thanks to our daily meetings, online chats or jumping on video call whenever is needed, there’s certainly no lack of support if I reach out. As a full-time working mum, it’s a dream scenario to have the remote and flexible working conditions which Helvengo offers, to balance my work and family commitments… I’d even go as far as to say it’s of benefit for the Zurich onsite team, as they don’t have to suffer my singing.

One of our core values at Helvengo is passion. What would you do for nothing?

Mentor creativity! I’m a real geek for visual design, and I love the conversations around creative inspiration, concept development and problem solving. It’s incredibly fulfilling to support enthusiastic designers on their own creative journeys, and I get to learn so much from them in return as well – we’re all in a continuous cycle of learning, creating, reflecting and improving! (of course, that’s in addition to voluntary tea-making and organising cupboards as previously mentioned)

To end with – Tell us, what would you do if your week had an eighth day? 

Can my daughter have an extra day in nursery too?!.. you mean I get an actual free day?.. time just for me!??!.. I’d go surfing!

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