When Berlin Calls – Sander van Bladel of Lesara
“I’m originally from the Netherlands, grew up in Rotterdam and moved to Amsterdam; I studied in Rotterdam as well. I studied financial economics and financial law, so two master’s.
During university I got in touch with Rocket Internet and moved to the Philippines for them. I really like the startup environment because you get a lot of trust to take on a lot of responsibilities and that makes it really fun.
I never thought about moving to Berlin. Moving to Berlin was a decision I made based on the opportunity I had. For me it was like, I talked with some people within the company, my interviews were via Skype and our founder visited me in Amsterdam as well, but I didn’t know what to expect. It was a decision I made without ever seeing the office. I never met the team and didn’t know any people who lived in Berlin, except for a few from my previous work experience. I came here carte blanche. That was the difficult part: To find your way into making new friends, finding a place to live and diving into the deep.
I think Berlin is really a startup hub. A lot of people in Berlin want to execute their own plans, they have a lot of great ideas and they basically just do it.
If I compare to my friends who work in big corporates, there you really start at the bottom. You have to work your way up and that takes time. There is always a certain hierarchy you should follow within the corporates. In startups you can take your own responsibility, so if you have a great idea you can implement that, and grow with it.
All experience, even in bad times, will be good experience.
The thing what excites me about taking this step is that everything is new. If people would have told me what to do, I think it would be less exciting. It is a great city.”