In the first week of being at a new company, the majority of people would expect to go through the “typical” on-boarding process and be overloaded with vital information with regard to the job. However, not only did I receive this “typical” experience, but also much more. I was personally onboarded by my mentor and Luminovo’s founder, Sebastian Schaal. And on just the second day of my internship, I found myself being whisked away together with the rest of the team for an overnight stay at a hut in the alps as part of a team retreat. That was when the true “onboarding” began - with games, cooking, and much banter.
Initially, I came from a strictly business-oriented background, having just graduated from WHU with a specialization in International Business Administration, focusing on Entrepreneurship and Sustainability, as I have a passion for technology and its impact on businesses. After speaking with previous Luminovo alumni, I learned about Luminovo and was fascinated by the company’s mission, exceptional team, and internship opportunities. The primary driver behind my application was that Luminovo offers interns, who come from a solely business-oriented background, the opportunity to immerse themselves in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Interns are provided with ample learning opportunities, such as diving deep into technical topics, and close mentoring.
For the duration of my internship, I took ownership of the sales funnel. This entailed everything from analyzing different industries, sourcing new potential clients, creating business cases with our engineers to even closing deals. Moreover, I supported a co-development project in the patent sector with the responsibility of analyzing the EU and German market and supporting product development. One opportunity that remains vividly ingrained in me was the experience of pitching Luminovo to potential clients and investors - while nerve-wracking, it was indeed a fulfilling and unparalleled experience.
As Luminovo has a lean operating structure and a flat hierarchy, I had almost complete autonomy in my work. However, this doesn’t mean that I was left in the lurch in familiarizing myself with a foreign industry. Instead, my mentor and fellow team members would provide assistance and unfailingly answer questions - making autonomy a great growth opportunity in the presence of a steep learning curve. I also recalled interns being urged to contribute to strategy sessions and to voice their opinions during team meetings. Sebastian also encouraged me to proactively try new approaches and acquire new skills, enforcing Luminovo’s philosophy of psychological safety in the workplace.
Luminovo’s emphasis on its team members (or as we call ourselves, the Luminerds) also left a striking impression. One thing that was stressed heavily in the company was the “Feedback Loop”, where I would have bi-weekly “meetings” with Sebastian. During those sessions, we would provide honest feedback to each other and his feedback was concrete and constructive which provided much clarity.
Despite having left Luminovo last year, I am still in close contact with several of the full-time Luminerds and previous interns as well. A few interns and I also joined the “Life of a Woman in Tech” initiative and to this day, we still meet up once a month and engage with them.
“If you want to dive into a kick-ass startup with an innovative vision, experience a steep learning curve with the ability to challenge yourself and build new skills whilst being supported by inspiring mentors and become a part of a super smart team with an amazing team spirit and unique team events, Luminovo is the place to go <3 “
- Sophie Schnitzenbaumer
*Note: This article was pieced together by Erin but content was given and approved by Sophie Schnitzenbaumer.
Erin holds a BSc in Organisational Psychology and Statistical Research Methods from the University of Cape Town. After her studies she dedicated a year to researching sustainable development initiatives in Southern Africa. Her primary interests lie in change management psychology, psychometrics and organisational culture.