Meet Julian - 30 - Learning Strategist - The Scientist
Hi there! We hope you are as excited as we are, because today we would like you to meet one of our newest team members: Julian Rasch!
Julian joined edyoucated in July 2020. You want to learn more about him and his role as a Learning Strategist? Keep on reading in order to get some insights about his road to edyoucated, his responsibilities as well as some of his favorite places in our founding city Münster.
Hey Julian! Glad we could steal a few of minutes of your time.
We obviously already know that you joined us as a learning strategist a couple of weeks ago. What else should we know about you? 🤓
Hello everyone! 🙂
As you might have already seen in a previous post, I am a mathematician and have been working as a project lead for a lot of data science projects in the past. So I am eager to add my knowledge about mathematical concepts, models and optimization to the edyoucated team. What’s maybe interesting is that, unlike a lot of others that did it the other way around, I started my studies wanting to become a teacher and then switched to doing research and a PhD in applied mathematics.
When I am not working I am mostly into four things: music, sports, books and food.🙂
Julian on stage with his band Givenback.
I enjoy practicing and playing guitar, in particular with my pop-rock band Givenback (check us out on Spotify if you like, more songs coming soon! 🎵) and I’ve been doing Karate for more than 15 years now. When it comes to books I tend to read two books in parallel, one that I can learn from (e.g., I really liked the book Factfulness) and one that I can enjoy without too much brain power. The latter are mostly novels with way too many pages.
Finally, I really enjoy cooking, baking bread, and I love espresso! ☕️
Sounds great, glad to have you on board! Could you maybe explain a bit further how you got from the initial idea of becoming a teacher to working as a data scientist, and now ultimately as a learning strategist?
I have always been into learning and teaching, starting with private lessons at school, and in particular into maths and economics, so there was not much to think about when I started studying to become a maths and economics teacher in Münster. However, during my Bachelor’s I became really interested in mathematics so I decided to get a degree in “pure” math as well. After I got a job at the institute as a student assistant (we’ve been doing medical imaging for cancer research) the decision was made: I continued doing mathematics until my PhD.
After my PhD I decided to leave university research and took a deep dive into data science, artificial intelligence and its application in an economical context. For my previous employer I worked as the project lead for data science teams, and we’ve been doing a lot of consulting work in exciting fields such as forecasting and strategic optimization. But I’ve realized that the thing I enjoyed the most was actually passing over the knowledge to my colleagues (and also our clients, of course) such that I decided to make a step further towards teaching and learning again.
So edyoucated it was! 🙂
So what does a learning strategist do exactly? Could you give us a little sneak peak into your current and/or future responsibilities?
I am not quite sure whether I can answer what I “exactly” do, but I’ll give it a try. 🙂
Essentially, I try to conceptualize the way we learn in order to offer a personalized and better learning experience for our learners. I come up with models for how new skills can be learned best, how they are connected to each other, and how they can be organized and ordered in the best possible fashion. This might sound a bit cryptic, but basically I try to automize personalized learning. I guess it does not make too much sense to go into more detail here, you’ll see the magic when you use our learning platform. 😉
Since edyoucated is a startup I of course do some other things as well, basically you get your hands into everything that is necessary at the moment. For example, during my first weeks at edyoucated I have tried to summarize my experience with forecasting models in a new learning track that will soon be available, gathering a lot of material for a proper learning experience.
You were born and raised in Münster, studied Mathematics at the University of Münster and continued to live and work there for the last couple of years. Is there something special about our founding city that excites you specifically?
In my opinion, Münster is a beautiful city that has everything I need. It is precisely small enough to have all the comfort of a medium sized city, for example, being able to go everywhere by bike, but on the other hand is big enough not to be boring. We’ve got so many bars and nice places to visit, a proper music scene, several nice quarters to go out and a lot of calm places to relax in.
A few but not all of my favorite places are:
- The canal or the Aasee (for walking, swimming - not the Aasee, of course, reading, relaxing and spike ball)
- The Roestbar (for great coffee)
- The Bohème Boulette (for burgers and beer)
- The Hansa-Ring (for a lot of great bars)
- Pizzaiolo (for traditional pizza)
- The harbor and the Hot Jazz Club (for evenings in the sun and good music)
- Spielkultur (for a great collection of board games)
- And so many more! 🙂
Finally, Münster is not too far away from the Netherlands where you can go wind surfing!
What was you first impression of the edyoucated team? Anything in particular that immediately comes to mind?
What struck me already during the application process was the dedication and thoughtfulness of the founders. Everything was (and is) well-planned, everything is open for discussion and everybody is ready to change their mind if necessary. Coming from research, I really like and need this type of mindset.
Apart from that I already knew that the team is super nice, we had met online during the lockdown to get to know each other during the application process, and I had already worked together with David and Marcus in my previous job. So there were no surprises. We even had a social event with the entire team in the evening of my very first day at edyoucated, and I immediately felt as a part of the team.
What I really like is that the team is a little spread over Germany (and even the U.S., hello Noor! 👋) which makes everything, in particular the office and home office, a little more modern and flexible.
Since we are a company focusing on the topic of learning - are you currently learning a new skill? And do you possess a skill that you are particularly proud of?
Actually, I can answer both questions at the same time. I’ve been playing guitar for almost 25 years now and it’s one of my favorite activities. I am mostly into blues-rock-type music and I’d like to step up my game a little bit there, so I am currently diving deeper into jazz and more complicated music theory. I really enjoy doing this, and in order to have enough brain for this I practice before work.
Besides, I would really like to be able to do a full planche (essentially a push-up only on your hands, without feet) but this will still require a lot of training. 😅
And it’s a wrap! Thanks so much Julian :) Anything else that you would like people to know?
Since we’ve been at skills and guitars: As a guitar player I suffer highly from what’s called the Gear Acquisition Syndrome. No, not a disease, it just means you want (“need”!!!) to buy new stuff all the time, like new guitars, pedals and amps.
And I’ve got a neat little trick to make sure I deserve and use the stuff I buy: I make myself earn it before. I’ve got a small savings box, and whenever I practice guitar, I pay myself a few euros. And all the money I earn that way I can then spend on whatever I want without any second thoughts. Maybe this trick will help you as well, let me know.
You would like to become part of our team as well? Check out our open positions!