What is it like to volunteer at a Linko hackathon? Read below what two volunteers from last year, Iiris and Sari, thought about the experience! If you’re interested in joining the volunteering team for the upcoming LINKO + Heureka Education Hackathon, click right here!

Iiris Annaniemi
Last autumn I spotted an interesting event on Facebook and I became very curious. I had never heard about hackathons but I wanted to know more about an event that included almost all of my main interests: education, team work, learning and technology. All my student colleagues were busy on that weekend (how is that even possible??) so I had no company to join my hackathon team. So, I was in the situation where I knew none of the participants or arrangers. I didn’t have the courage to participate alone but I still wanted to know what’s it all about. Then I figured out to enroll in the volunteering team. It seemed to be the perfect opportunity to see the atmosphere and get to know what a hackathon actually is. And what’s best, I would still have a chance to disappear after my shift if everything were horrible!

Because I literally knew no one from the event and had no clue what’s coming, I was very close to cancelling my participation because of an urgent stomach flu. Luckily, I was such a wuss to lie and I found myself knocking the doors at Design Factory exactly 30 mins before my shift. And very early it was clear that I couldn’t be happier about my decision to take part in the very first education hackathon.

All my fears about new people, the new concept and place were totally irrelevant. I felt warmly welcomed and important while doing my volunteering tasks. I even found myself coming back to Linko even though my official job at the welcoming stand was already done. Being part of the volunteering team was just like I hoped it would be, the perfect way to get to know what a hackathon is and, what’s best, to get to know new people with same interests and passions. Later on, I also found myself as a part of a team arranging the upcoming Linko x Heureka Hackathon.

Sari Helanen
When I was asked to volunteer at the first Linko hackathon last fall, I didn’t exactly know what to expect because I had not heard about Linko before. It piqued my curiosity and I wanted to hear more, so I scheduled a meeting with Solja. I was asked to join the catering team to take care of food and serving during the hackathon weekend. To ease my burden a little (since preparing food and all the related business would be demanding), I asked my sister to join the team.

There was plenty of work to do with Solja before the weekend, and at last we got to the wholesaler, and then transported all the stuff to Design Factory at Espoo. Before the event actually took place, we were introduced to Design Factory, and I got very good vibes about the place already then. The place would be a perfect fit.

As the contestants arrived in Espoo, it was time to kick off the hackathon. There was a real bustle in the kitchen as we prepared for Saturday’s breakfast and lunch, as well as for Sunday’s brunch. Having helping hands in the kitchen was invaluable! We got positive feedback on the food, which made the weekend’s work all worthwhile for us. Organizers, volunteers, and team members were all very friendly and helpful to the catering team throughout the weekend. That truly boosted our spirits in the kitchen. The catering team also took part in the exciting spirit that stemmed from the teams solving the challenges. The weekend was surely an intensive experience but it made a lasting mark on me, because here I am again – this time in the marketing team. :)