Meet Thorsten - 23 - Intern Business Development - The Structurer
Today we would like you to meet Thorsten Lansmann-Niehaus! He has been with us for the past two months as part of our business development team.
Growing up on a farm close to the Dutch border, he is passionate about entrepreneurship, music and still loves to spend weekends on his family’s farm, working in the forest.
If you’re curious how Thorsten ended up in the start-up scene of Münster we’d suggest you scroll down. 😉
Thanks for taking the time :)
We would like people to better understand “life” at edyoucated and the faces behind the curtains. So - what should we know about you? Please introduce yourself briefly.
Gladly! My name is Thorsten, I’m 23 years old, and I won’t tell you at the very beginning what I study. To start with information systems would be too prudish. However, it’s nice when you like business and information technology and are good at structuring. Instead, I asked friends what one should know about me: The most obvious thing seems to be that I place an abnormally high value on getting enough sleep - well, I can’t deny that. Secondly, my urge for structure - that’s the reason for my nickname “the structurer.” I was pleased to be considered as very fair.
Now a few words from me: I was raised on a farm. In my home town, Borkenwirthe, I grew up in a community with pragmatic people that have a positive attitude towards work and self-employment. Here I learned how to work and party - this is what one is really good at here. Even today, I still like to help at home, especially when it comes to forest work. This is mainly because of the fresh air and doing manual work, what is a variety for me.
Cause in Münster, where I currently live, it’s more about cognitive work. Since I started my studies at the University of Münster, my interest in entrepreneurship has been growing. I learned a lot about it in workshops and through the exchange with other students at the Venture Club Münster e.V (VCM), where I am currently part of the executive board.
In my free time, I use sport to compensate when there is no forest work available. This includes jogging, workouts, and swimming. In summer you can also meet me on the tennis court and in winter on skis in the Alps.
Here are a few more infos about me in my free time in a quick run-through: I am a listener of “Gemischtes Hack”, play the trumpet in an orchestra, go skittles with my friends every four weeks and become a child when it comes to Nerf Guns.
Okay, what else do people want to know about me? 🙂
Picture of the clearing of pine trees, which were infested by bark beetles.
Thanks for the introduction! Let’s talk again about your way to edyoucated. How do you get from a farm to a start-up?
I was already interested in new ideas in my home town. Unfortunately, there is no active start-up scene (yet). The first time I got into contact with entrepreneurship was in 2019 through the Kickstart Weekend of the VCM. In a couple of days, I have worked out a business idea in a small team, supported by mentors and different workshops. Our co-founder David, who was in the early stages of founding edyoucated at the time, also held a workshop there. Since then, I met several of my now teammates during various VCM events. So when I decided to do an internship at a start-up, I quickly thought of edyoucated. Today I am happy to be a part of the team myself.
And now, you can share your own experiences at edyoucated! First of all: What are your responsibilities, and what are you working on at edyoucated?
So far, I have been at edyoucated for 8 weeks and have taken on various tasks. Since my first week, I am responsible for the website from a marketing point of view. Richard, who writes the code, and I continuously work on debugging and improving the website. Also, I am engaged in projects in the marketing, sales, and product area. This includes the conceptual setup of new marketing activities, creating presentations for sales, and curating learning content for our platform.
What are your learnings from your internship so far?
Because I work independently at edyoucated and am given a lot of responsibility, I can learn a lot. Through my tasks, I build up know-how in the marketing and sales area. But what’s even more important to me is to answer two questions: What is it like to work in a start-up, and what is the best way for me to develop myself?
About the work in a start-up: Actually, it is - at least at edyoucated - just as I imagined. Everybody is passionate about their job, and there is a constant urge for improvement. Ideas are welcome, and I’ve heard the phrase “We’ve always done it this way” precisely zero times. Working remotely works if you use an appropriate infrastructure and if the employees are familiar with it. And of course, working hours are flexible.
To promote personal development, we hold regular feedback meetings. These are incredibly valuable because it gives a retrospective view of one’s work, and experiences are shared directly. My central learning is to expand my awareness of my strengths and interests, even beyond the internship, and select areas of responsibility accordingly.
You came here with a lot of prior knowledge of entrepreneurship. How did this knowledge help you during your internship?
It already helped me from the beginning. I already knew that an internship in a start-up is the right thing for me. Besides, knowing a couple of start-ups and founders that offer internships was also definitely helpful.
Being familiar with typical start-up techniques like agile methods, specific tools, and the overall entrepreneurial mindset helped me a lot. Especially during my first couple of weeks, I found it quite easy to understand how everybody is working and what was expected of me.
Though, I strongly believe that prior knowledge from a start-up or general entrepreneurial technique is a plus in starting out, but not necessarily a must. Everybody in the team comes with a unique skill-set and we all learn something new every day. I surely will end my internship with way more knowledge than I entered.
The rest of the team has already given us great insights into what they are planning to learn in the future. What is something that you always wanted to learn?
Whew, there’s a lot on my list: Playing piano & drums, skiing in deep snow, getting every farmer at skittles, driving motorcycle, getting a helicopter pilot license… well, I better stop now before I start my own mission to Mars. Anyway, I started playing the piano this year and would like to play a piece at Christmas. A little tip for everyone who has ever thought about learning to play the piano: The App SimplyPiano is excellent!
And you’re not alone with your musical ambitions - David told us in his introduction that he’s just learning to play the guitar. Seems like only a matter of time before we see an edyoucated-band.
Thanks for taking the time!
You are welcome!
You would like to become part of our team as well? Check out our open positions!
Cannot wait to get more details about our team? In case you haven’t checked them out already, we also talked to the [rest of our team]!