Even a great atmosphere needs adjusting to
One of the greatest advantages of an internship is that you get to meet so many people from a company. In this case: all of them. I’ll try to share as much of this experience with you as possible – you’ve already gotten a little insight into Hendrik Noack´s field of work.
I noticed that the Funtails-Crew is incredibly passionate about their games. My internship at Funtails is my first in a board game publishing company – and I wasn’t prepared for how open and motivated everyone was. Monday morning is a difficult moment here too, so there’s no need to be under any illusions. I was more struck by the way they work. A lot of time is spent on details here. Everyone is using their expertise with the claim that the result should bring you as much joy as possible.
I’ve never heard anyone talk about flying-squirrel-sketches as enamored as Hendrik, and Hans has steadfastly reinforced my belief that you can do incredibly great things with logic and structured thinking. I’ve had a taste of a few professional fields, and often people played some sort of professional role that fit the job at hand. Here, people don’t do that. They just seem to love doing what they do.
That was a little unexpected at first. But by now I’ve gotten used to it.
The man behind the messages
When I talked to Henrik Sörgel, he summed up this impression beautifully. You might even know him from mails or direct messages – Henrik takes care of your inquiries and problems in the service department when he is not on his way to his next travel destination. He is currently taking some time to discover the world. Unfortunately, I can’t give you an exclusive appointment with Henrik, so I’d like to at least make this conversation available.
Sorry for the prejudice: but for a long time, I thought customer service was a thankless job with many rude requests. And suddenly Henrik comes around and is totally enthusiastic about customer service! He also made it clear right away that this is exactly why he has readjusted his professional course and is now sailing towards the boardgame industry: it’s the community that has got him enthusiastic.
Where´s the suit, Henrik?
Henrik has completed his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and accordingly has career prospects that I, as a philosophy student, can only fantasize about. So why isn’t he sitting in a suit at the nearest bank at this very moment? Instead, he’s traveling through Italy and Croatia, hiking with friends in Austria, and managing the Funtails service on the side. He’d never heard the term “digital nomad” before he became one himself. At least that’s how he told me.
Henrik also told me about what it’s like to study with the certainty that you’re financially secure with your subject – and how hard it was to decide against it anyway. He simply enjoys his work and the people he meets along the way. That’s exactly what struck me about the people at Funtails. I can’t put my finger on it yet – but Henrik will show you.
He envisioned his professional future like what I just described: in a suit at a bank. Of course, he could have been bored to death there, while earning a lot of money. But that would not have made him happy. When he told me this way, he sounded confident and content.
Lemonade and pirate jokes
Shortly thereafter, he spoke warmly about people who had dumped Sprite all over their cards and therefore requested replacements. He reported photos of lovingly painted Kraken miniatures and the propensity of some customers to make pirate jokes. He sounded exactly like Hendrik when he talks about his drawings! That’s why I wasn’t surprised to hear that he will pause his digital nomadism for the “SPIEL” in Essen. You can meet him (and the rest of Funtails at booth 5G104) there – completely analog.
Wisdom ready for printing
He just dived into the board game world at the beginning of the year with an internship. It’s also a testament to Hans’ and Maikels ability to inspire that he stayed with Funtails. Henrik doesn’t seem to have been particularly captivated by the prospect of a dull day at work with lots of money after hours. He told me how well he got along with the editorial team and how comfortable he felt at the fairs. “The most important things are the people and the fun, not the money.” – you could print that on a mug. But trust me, he really said it that way!