Neue Fische Gründerin Dalia Das
Career tips

“My Start”: Into the cold water with “New Fish”

“Looking back, the most challenging moments for me so far have always been the moments between two professional stations: You leave your comfort zone and venture into unknown territory. But it’s worth it. In return, you get the incomparably exciting feeling of building something completely new from nothing. I grew up in North Rhine-Westphalia and after school I studied law for a year, but then switched to international business administration . In a way, I expected the big, wide world out of it, and then I actually studied in Amsterdam as well as Dortmund and then went to Copenhagen for a year , Neue Fische Gründerin Dalia Das Entrepreneur Dalia Das: “You just have to be brave and overcome your fear” where I worked for a management consultancy. I came to Hamburg in 2002 for AOL Europe . I took care of the company’s strategic partnerships – and later also the project management for the sale of AOL to Hansenet . A headhunter brought me to Bertelsmann in 2007, where I became a member of the Executive Board . For me it was particularly exciting that the group with its strongly content-driven business model was strongly affected by the transformation triggered by digitization. Of course, this also applied in particular to the music industry: Due to digitized subscription models such as Spotify and others, the business became more complex and artists had to reposition themselves. It needed a publisher that was able to manage the various revenue streams and offer new services to artists. So it was only consistent from Bertelsmann to advance the development of a new music publisher within the Bertelsmann Group – the new BMG . And I was there as VP Business Development . From 2009 to 2011 I was in Berlin for BMG . At the beginning of this time our team consisted of maybe just five people, when I left BMG there were around 200 employees, the publisher was present in several countries. A great growth story and great to be there, especially for me as a hobby musician – it was always important to me to fully identify with a professional topic. For me, my time at BMG was a great time, during which, as before, I was able to learn from the best of the best on the Executive Board. Identifying myself with my next topic wasn’t difficult either – Education . Education changes your whole life, this area offers a lot of potential. As Vice President Education I was on the road a lot in the USA and had the opportunity there to develop innovative concepts together with one of the leading education funds in the USA, in which Bertelsmann had invested at the time in the field of education. And that’s where I’m for the first time with the Technology Bootcamps, which has existed in the USA since 2012, came into contact. I was surprised that this didn’t exist in Germany, because the requirements here are basically comparable. Around 55,000 jobs in the IT sector are vacant in Germany, and filling a position in the industry takes an average of 150 days. Women are underrepresented in this area in Germany as in the USA. This topic has accompanied me on all of my professional stations – the difficulty of finding enough people who can implement digital innovations. The shortage of skilled workers has always been real to me and it is obvious to me that it slows down digitization. At the end of 2016 – I had become a mother and left Bertelsmann – I gave myself a year to research and orientate myself. It was this one idea that I was really convinced of in the end. That’s why I founded neue fische in 2018, the first German-language bootcamp for software developers and data scientists. That was my jump into the deep end. Before that, I always worked in corporations. At the end of the year, the first 60 participants will have completed the new fische boot camps – and a number of companies from the agency, software, eCommerce and life science sectors are already working with us. That makes me and my team very proud. With the establishment of the company, I once again made the experience that there are often good opportunities to do something exciting – you just have to be brave and overcome your fear . Sometimes I am asked if I regret certain career decisions. The only time that I might have made a better decision in retrospect was with regard to an opportunity that I didn’t seize: In 2005 I got the offer from AOL to , who was then still small Google Germany to switch. I decided against the jump – a decision that I might have made differently with more research or more courage and which might have been a great opportunity back then. But just another one. But what counts for me today is that I always dared to venture into new professional terrain and simply tried it and I have never regretted that. “ Recorded by Antonia Thiele

Service info: You can find more exciting career stories of successful entrepreneurs, founders and leaders in our “My Start” series. And for your search for a job at many young and established companies, the XING job market offers the best overview of attractive vacancies. You can start your research right here. I wish you success.


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