This post was originally published on the Alumni Careers Blog.

When I was 17, I moved to the US to study. Back home in Greece, the country was succumbing to a financial crisis. I questioned whether I would ever be able to move back to my country. Many years later, I find myself as Director of Business Operations for Blueground, one of the few bright exceptions, working between our New York headquarters and our offices in Athens.

Finding your career passion is a trial and error process. People say “follow your passion” but this can be vague. The actual process of discovering these passions is daunting. During my MBA, I spent a lot of time reflecting on what I wanted to do in my career. Since we spend a huge portion of our lives working, it’s important to find a job that’s fulfilling. Over time, I've found that what matters most to me is solving complex problems in logistics. I value building something physical from scratch and seeing the immediate results of my work.

Startup recruiting for MBAs can be challenging. Most people in your class have already secured jobs and you need to be patient while waiting for the startups which recruit last-minute. Furthermore, startup recruiting is network-based. While some companies may have relevant job postings, your best bet is to visit the companies, talk to the team, understand their pain points, and propose how you can help, based on the experiences you bring. Meanwhile, it’s a two-way interview so you need to assess in parallel if you believe in the company and whether you would like to work with the people that are sitting across the table. In my case, I had to speak with about 40 people before I found a startup that was a good fit for me, only to have an offer the day after graduating from the Harvard Business School. The rewards were huge, as I was able to join a startup in Silicon Valley, work and learn from amazing people, and launch and manage new product lines in the home services space.

For someone who is passionate about startups, living in Silicon Valley is extremely exciting. Every day you get to witness the crazy pace of tech developments and feel the intense energy around you. Unfortunately, the company I worked for eventually shut down. I decided to take a few weeks off and head to Greece on vacation. I felt the uncertainty that comes in pivotal times of your life and the excitement that comes when many possibilities unfold in front of you. I considered startups in the US or in Europe's tech hubs, but ultimately from following Greece's entrepreneurship scene, I found Blueground, a rare exception from the lot. The company is in hyper growth and has been hitting targets that seemed highly aspirational in the early days (especially considering the market conditions in Greece at the time). Blueground has managed to scale seamlessly with over 2,500 apartments and 400 team members in nine cities; New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Dubai, Istanbul and Athens. With a vision to make people feel at home wherever they choose to live, Blueground offers fully-furnished and thoughtfully equipped apartments for a month, a year or even longer. Essentially, Blueground is transforming the way people rent apartments globally. After joining Blueground, I realized I was part of a global company.

When you join a startup, I believe that one of the most important aspects is the culture. When you join a large, established company you know more or less what the culture will be like. In the case of startups, you don’t really know until you join. Therefore, you need to rely to a large extent on how well you gel with the team during the interview process. Early on at Blueground, it was clear that the culture was a great fit for me. Blueground is highly focused on results and keeps itself honest about how we are doing with respect to our customers, employees, and business performance. The leadership team promotes transparency, efficiency, and excellence. People work towards a common goal and know when to have fun. The company was founded in Greece but is international, with people spread across 9 offices in the US, Europe and Asia. While traveling for work, I had the opportunity to stay in Blueground apartments from Dubai to New York and it has been extremely rewarding to experience the product first-hand. Another thing I enjoy at Blueground is that I get to collaborate with colleagues from a number of different industries and former roles, from ex-consultants to seasoned real estate professionals.

As far as my day to day goes, I have been fortunate to work with very smart people and take on new learnings. I have worked on projects ranging from building KPIs to the development of sophisticated models around pricing and asset selection. What I enjoy most is that I work with people across many different departments and have the opportunity to work on very challenging problems, every day. Lastly, I find that we strike a good balance between being scrappy where needed, while using best practices and consulting experts in other areas.

People who pursue an MBA spend a lot of time, effort, and money to get accepted into a good school and finish their degree. Oftentimes, they underestimate the importance of reflecting on what they want to do with their life. What I learned through my journey is to spend the extra time, even if that means you are graduating without a job lined up. Spend a few months between jobs figuring out your next step. Knowing what you want and waiting for the right opportunity will set you in the right direction. You deserve a job that will ultimately make you much happier!