Mafalda: How I help small businesses get more done

Why I’m doing it

Going to university meant I could finally put into practice what I’ve been fantasizing about the most while growing up: independence. I wanted it all – living alone, planning my schedule, making my meals (not as excited about the laundry, I must confess), and, of course, getting a job. During my apocalypse of motivation, I had pictured a somewhat meaningful and suitable part-time job, in which I could not only generate some income but also manifest my skills and gain some competencies along the way. 

However, there were two big (gigantic, really) aspects I wasn’t considering while daydreaming: (1) The world is experiencing a global pandemic; (2) I happen to be a first-year undergraduate student with absolutely no experience.

The first obstacle was relatively easy to overcome – I added “remote” to my google search bar and crossed my fingers for something to come up. Good news, it did – and that was how I was first introduced to the concept of “freelance” which was fitting to my schedule and would allow me to work from home. Perfect. Once my first issue was no longer an issue, it was time to find a platform for me to become a so-called “freelancer” and be one step closer to ticking my self-established requirements to be the independent woman I aspired. 

Finding my way to something awesome

This was when it got slightly complicated

I was navigating from one website to the next (and to the one after that), and my motivation levels slowly started to decrease: I didn’t… fit. I was stumbling upon the most interesting platforms, but once there I would face a range of individuals with impressive skill sets plus 230 years of experience in the field. And even if I would go as far as attempting to sign up, I would then encounter financial terms or other clauses I wasn’t at all familiar with. My eyes were burning from staring at the screen, I felt quite drained and even upset at myself for having been so dreamy and naive. 

Fortunately, my parents could afford to support my living expenses, so I was experiencing no more than an emotional struggle, which ultimately made me think about those who really need an extra source of income, and it saddened me to imagine that might be going through the same.

And then…

Paperound – providing an extra pair of hands for small businesses using students like me

A freelance-type platform made for students. I strived to find somewhere I would fit…. and I found a place tailored for me. Paperound allowed me to become a “tasker” – one who is booked on an hourly basis by awesome start-ups, to perform tasks they needed to get done. I would be able to select what areas I wanted to work in, what gaps I had available on my schedule, and with the financial question made as easy as I had ever seen having only to define how much I would charge for my work per hour. 

All this meant I would be able to work from home, during a schedule that wouldn’t interfere with my studies, AND most exciting of all, I would have the opportunity to work on areas that would add value to my future career plans.

I signed up so quickly that I think my laptop must have felt overwhelmed. 

Although, I had to pass the verification interview…

Almost instantly I got an email from Jake (the CEO) setting up a meeting. We had a nice and casual conversation about myself, my skills, my interests, and we went over my profile. He guided me through the platform and gave me advice about how I could set up my listing. I refined my profile having in mind Jake’s guidance, and once all was set accordingly, my listing was reviewed and later accepted by their team. Just like that. I was out there. Ready (and eager) to be booked. 

Small business founders are now choosing me to help with various tasks


About 4 months have gone by. 

I am currently back in my home country, Portugal, sitting at my home desk, able to work as I would be in any part of the world.

So far, I have helped out companies and individuals with a range of different things, including:

  • Emails
  • Spreadsheets
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Social media strategy

This has allowed me to explore what I am most talented at, the areas I want to develop, and even what I enjoy doing the most (which, although it might sound obvious, has always been a big struggle for me).

I have experienced different types of bookings, both in terms of task-nature and length. I have both been booked for a one-time task, as sending out emails or filling in spreadsheets. In such cases, the companies made the task crystal clear by giving me instructions and oftentimes even arranging a meeting to show me exactly how they want it done. After I am finished, the task is marked as completed and I receive my payment, together with precious (and kind) feedback.

There have also been occasions in which I was booked for a longer-period, less objective task – such as helping out with social media. Under these circumstances, after the company contacts me with some briefing to give me context, we arrange a meeting to get acquainted and work together on how I believe I will be able to help. For example, through Paperound, I have worked with an awesome Health Coach, and I helped him plan his instagram strategy by providing guidance regarding content and scheduling, and by developing ideas and designs for him to recycle in the future. We worked together for a few weeks, and he would book me recurrently, for the amount of hours needed to get a couple of tasks done.

The experience so far has been beyond gratifying. I have seen my work rewarded, not only financially, but mostly intellectually. I have had the pleasure to hear critics, compliments, and advice from people from all sorts of backgrounds, with much more experience than myself. My work and myself have been approached with a level of regard that I hadn’t imagined possible for such a young student, commonly labeled “inexperienced”.

What comforts me the most is the simplicity of the process. Once a company needs an extra pair of hands, it contacts me with the instructions and the hours required to get it done, and, if I can help, I accept the request and get paid once the work is completed. While I’m working on it, me and the company keep in touch – I am more than welcome to ask questions, share progress and feedback (if it is a longer task), and even ask for help If I need to. 

Jake hasn’t left the picture either. He contacts me often to check how things are going, shows genuine interest in my feedback, and is the first to congratulate me when I succeed. He has made me feel like I belong to the team from day one, and seeing how much Paperound has grown in only 4 months truly fills me with pride.

In addition to all the benefits this platform brings you, being a Paperound tasker also means being a part of an extraordinary journey, that will certainly provide tools, acquaintances and guidance for the years to come in your life.

If you’re a small business requiring an extra pair of hands to get those mundane tasks done or to support a project you just haven’t had time to start, check out