Judith Nguyen Thanh, Program Manager at ITR8

Why I jumped the corporate ship to work in a Berlin start-up.

Leaving the safety net of the corporate world can be a scary decision for most people, especially when you’re trading higher salaries and stability for the rollercoaster ride of start-ups.

One person who made the leap was Judith Nguyen Thanh, now Program Manager at digital agency ITR8 and superstar mum of two kids under five. We spoke to her about the highs and lows of her start-up experience, after having spent a year on what we like to call the dark side.

  1. What made you decide to leave the corporate world?
    I came to a point where I actually felt like: “Oh my, what am I doing here, this is so senseless?!” Around that time I got a call from our CEO Semir asking me to join ITR8. That felt like a wake-up call, so I jumped ship without thinking twice. Best decision I’ve made in 2015.
  2. What’s your favourite thing about working in a start-up?
    I love that you have to be involved and basically “all-in”. ITR8 feels like my baby, because I’ve been here since the very beginning of the agency. My most favourite thing is that our team gets to develop their own company culture and the feedback we’ve been getting so far is great!
  3. And the downsides?
    If you are still a small team, it is sometimes difficult to find someone to take over your tasks if you are ill or have a family emergency. So far we’ve been coping well though.
  4. Most memorable lesson learnt in the first year?
    I’ve learnt that the responsibility and the chances given to me here at ITR8 have brought me further than 5 consecutive years at a big agency. I’ve never learnt more.
  5. Why is Berlin a great city for start-ups?
    Because it’s cheap! Lower costs for rent and set-up costs mean start-ups can establish themselves sooner than in other cities. Also a big event scene means it’s easy to get to know people and network.
  6. Funniest story?
    We don’t do fun here. 
    Kidding! But most of those stories I’d only tell you over a drink or two.
  7. Advice for others wanting to take the leap?
    If you are motivated to shape your work environment and put some real effort and love into your job, I think you could be a good candidate. By the way, we have a couple of open positions

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Judith Nguyen Thanh, Program Manager at ITR8