Interviewing the LaureaES Team – Part I

“Life teaches you lessons at all times” – Yara Khoshnaw

The year that we’re all going to remember, – some as a year of chaos and some as a year of new opportunities, is soon nearing its end. We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight this year’s board members one last time before the board change that will take place when the year ends. As there is a lot to tell about the amazing people behind Laurea Entrepreneurship Society, we will be publishing a mini-series of two blog posts about this very interesting topic.

Both of these blog posts will be presented as an embedded narrative, as they’re presented through my interview of our Marketing Manager, Yara Khoshnaw, who’s interviews of our board members will be showcased throughout these two posts. The year has been challenging, but we have managed to be more innovative than ever and created new event concepts, like the Growth webinar-series, our new virtual community hangout Off The Clock (register for the next Off The Clock here) and the 3ES networking event Unreal Meetup. I think that everyone in our team has done a great job working as a team this year. We were also able to implement the Hatch Incubator Program 2020 safely, successfully and innovatively, which is such great merit for our team. I’m so proud of all of us!

In this interview, I discussed the board interviews conducted earlier this year and asked Yara quite deep questions about her perspectives in work and life overall. Her answers were very insightful in my opinion and it has been a pleasure working with her this year. She has really helped, for example, with our social media marketing. If you read the whole interview, I’m convinced you’ll gain new perspectives about work, life and especially teamwork.

Let’s get started with Part I of Yara’s interviews, also showcasing five of the board interviews she conducted last summer.

Mika: I thought Rasheed’s post was very funny and insightful. The text really sounds like him and showcases his deep-side as well, which I really like about him. I have had a lot of great conversations with Rasheed this year. He has supported my self-development and content writing skills, he has given me perspectives and tips about how to develop my music brand further, and other topics as well. A good start for the posts! What are your general thoughts about his interview?

Yara: I liked his confidence and the fact that he mostly emphasized on inner peace. He managed to keep the interview light, but yet insightful.

Mika: Rasheed talked about that people should figure themselves out  one way or another. I feel like that has been very important for me the last few years, and now I feel like I’m closer to figuring myself out professionally and overall in life. Achieving inner peace is an important goal for me too. How about you? Have you figured yourself out yet or do you think that’s even possible?

Yara: I have not completely figured myself out just quite yet. I’m a work in process. Every day I have new ideas and inspirations I would want to work with. What I’ve learned from inner peace is that you have to be solid with yourself.

Mika: We both have been working with Lotta a lot this past year. She has been working super hard and I admire her work ethic, professionalism, and managing skills a lot. Lotta was also very brave to share her story about losing her health in my opinion. Those more personal stories are not always the easiest things to tell. What was it like to interview her?

Yara: I liked how honest she was. She is very open and keen to help others grow.

Mika: Lotta also talked about the importance of valuing the people around you. I thought it was an important point, because often we focus only on what we are doing and where we are going, forgetting the people around us. Especially these days when we cannot meet our friends as much because of the Covid-situation, it is very important to keep in touch, even if it is via chatting or Zoom-calls. What is your work-life balance like?

Yara: As long you know your priorities, you won’t find it hard to balance out the two.

Mika: Suvi mentioned in her interview that communication makes a great team. That is something I have realized more and more too during my time volunteering in LaureaES. If there is no communication, things can very easily go wrong. Good group dynamics are really important for me too, because I work better under a positive vibe. Do you see  yourself as more of an extrovert or an introvert? Do you work better or worse under pressure? 

Yara: I work well both in pressure and without. When there’s pressure, I’m just more sufficient. I’m both an introvert and extrovert – it depends on the day and the situation.

Mika: Suvi talked about the danger of falling in love with your business ideas. I think that applies to all ideas too. As a creative person myself, I have realized that people can have a lot of ideas, but most of them are bad and mediocre ideas, and you just have to filter the bad ones out. Implementing the idea matters more, because ideas are only ideas until you do something with them. What do you think about ideas? Are they underrated or overrated?

Yara: It’s always good to have ideas, you never know what could happen to them.

Mika: Adibullah’s interview was more descriptive than a lot of the other board interviews. His perfect day sounds awesome and balanced. I think people sometimes think too much productivity and forget to relax. Life is more than your work and achievements, in my opinion. This summer I have been more relaxed than before, while still staying active. I have also noticed that applying healthier habits has increased my productivity. I get more done and better results in a smaller amount of time. Do you think that a balanced life and good habits lead to better results at work? 

Yara: Yes, without a doubt. When your mind is at ease, the rest will follow. If you’re content with yourself then the work that you do will come out good as well.

Mika: It was interesting to read about Adibullah’s perspective on simplicity. I have a tendency to overthink a lot and that is a mindset I have been trying to get out of. I think that complex situations in life can be stressful, because you feel like you don’t understand what’s happening. Then you get stressed out and the cycle continues. On the other hand, if you focus on the simple things in life, you don’t have that much pressure since you feel like you are more in control. Do you prefer simplicity or more complex situations in work and life?

Yara: I like both. Life teaches you lessons at all times and you’ll be wiser from your experiences. However, simplicity gives you another perspective. You see things differently when you stand in a much further distance.

MikaIn Julia’s interview she talked about being yourself instead of trying to fit in where you don’t fit. What do you think about this ”being yourself”-advice and does thinking about what others think, affect your creativity?

Yara: I would turn it and say just don’t try to be anything else than yourself. Focus on the present and deliver your thoughts, work and creativity through a peaceful mindset. I have noticed that those who are in peace within themselves tend to not overthink nor overwork.

Mika: Julia said that she associates entrepreneurship with freedom, hard work and innovation. On the other hand entrepreneurship includes risk taking, larger responsibility and a great chance of failure. What do you think about entrepreneurship and do you think you are a good fit for it?

Yara. Entrepreneurship definitely is a hands-on experience and an individual will gain a lot of skills from it. If I wanted to – I believe I could be an entrepreneur, however, entrepreneurship is not in my future plans, therefore, I have not put much thought into yet. I due, however, respect entrepreneurs greatly, because it takes a lot of consistency, trials and errors.

This is Part I of Yara’s interview. In the next blog post this interesting conversation will be continued. In Part II you will learn about what Yara thinks about what makes a great team player, her tip on how to form habits and what she thinks about soft and hard skills in work life, so stay tuned!

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