A new marketplace for online language learning
EY alumna Agnieszka Nowicka is using her passion for language to create a unique platform that makes language learning more accessible. She shares how her EY experience helped her set up Langu.
QWhat is your background and role at EY?
My background is learning and education, and I have a masters in applied linguistics. My role at EY was in People Advisory Services as a learning consultant. I specialised in digital learning solution design and development, as well as project management for clients.
QWhat made you decide to create Langu?
I originally came up with the idea for Langu about five years ago. I was due to take my boyfriend to Poland to meet my parents and we wanted to find someone to teach him Polish, which proved difficult around his schedule.
My idea was to create a market place where students could type in the language they want to learn and choose the right teacher for them based on criteria like background, price, availability and reviews. As I developed the idea I added a virtual classroom as well.
It took a little while to pull it all together, but roughly a year ago I decided to give it a try. I pitched to investors to cover the technical build and once I secured enough money to pay a salary that was the final trigger for me to work full-time on Langu.
QHas your EY experience helped you to create your business?
Without my EY experience, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to launch my business. For me it was having the ability to wear many hats at one time. For a typical product at EY I would write the training and develop the product, and at the same time work closely with the client and write proposals for new clients. My EY experience has shown me that I am capable and it has given me great confidence.
QWhat advice would you give to someone who would like to start their own business?
I would stress the importance of doing proper market research. If you see that there is space for you in the market, then pull it all together, write a business plan and try. There’s no such thing as certainty, though – at some point you’ll have to make a tough call to put yourself out there and give it a go.
Working flexibly at EY to manage the development of my idea has also been a great advantage. At EY you are trusted to manage your time and balance your personal goals with your work.
QWhat would you like your legacy to be?
Whatever happens, I will always want to focus on education as I believe in the power of education to open your mind and thoughts. My aim is to make education more accessible and I hope Langu will help me achieve that goal.
Connect with Agnieszka Nowicka via LinkedIn.