Berlin Diaries – A Visit to CareerFoundry
I haven’t been writing much for a while. Probably, because I have been busy assimilating and processing information for a change. There is a lot that I have learnt and I have met many interesting people over the last week or so in Europe. I think it would be interesting for you to know about them too. Over the next few days, I’ll try talking about some of them.
I have been seeking answers to a lot of questions of my own and of our company. Travel is almost always a great idea to help this process of discovery. I had been very keen to travel to Berlin for a couple of years now. I had been reading so much about what is happening here especially as a new start-up hub in the world and this seemed like an opportune time to make the trip.
Now, my observations are purely based on anecdotal experiences but I have been struck by the intensity of the people I have met here. My conversations have been very engaging yet quite brief and to-the-point. It’s like even if you meet someone for 20 mins you go back with a feeling of having covered so much ground in those 20 mins. Maybe it is a function of the kind of people I have been put in touch with, but the focus in conversations is so refreshing. It’s also something for me to learn since I am quite unorganized and digress a lot when talking.
I’ll talk about CareerFoundry and Raffaela in this post (also because we may soon be doing something interesting with them!). It is amazing how similar problems exist in economies in different phases of development. The scale and domains differ but even in advanced economies there is massive employability gap.
At the core of it, CareerFoundry is a career accelerator which helps people become more employable. CareerFoundry wants to help others build their careers in ways that offer more personal freedom, creativity and flexibility. I think the key element in their offering is the personal touch where one gets mentored and that one is attended to by an actual human being which makes the learning process far superior. Now, I haven’t taken a course myself but I read very good things online about the quality of the content.
I think the offering is very focussed which gives one the confidence that it will be executed well. Once you meet the founder Raffaela, that feeling only becomes stronger. She gives you the impression that she knows exactly what she is doing. It is particularly interesting that not only have they cracked many German corporations but have also managed to get the German government interested in their offering. Some German government institutions use CareerFoundry to keep its employees up-to-date with the skills needed to be at the forefront of the digital game.
You can look up their website to know more about the various courses on offer. I have been told a new version of the site will be up soon too.
The new CareerFoundry office is delightful. It may interest you that it is practically where the Berlin Wall used to be. It’s like being in touch with a little bit of history every day. They also have a very pretty terrace to work out from adjoining the office and on bright clear day one would love sitting out there and writing code, answering emails and making calls.
Raffaela is quite known now in the Berlin start-up community but here’s an interesting thing I discovered when I met her. She has been to Tamil Nadu more times then I have in my entire lifetime. She visits India almost every year and often multiple times in a year. She probably also meditates more than most Indians I know. I had a long conversation with Raffaela on what we could do to solve the looming skills problem in India.
Irrespective of how our proposed collaboration works out, I hope things work out well for CareerFoundry and Raffaela. They seem to be onto something really value-adding. Probably, something the world actually needs!
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