Yolande Baker is a Product Owner at LessonWise. She holds a Masters’ degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in International Business (MSc) and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages (French and Spanish) from Durham University. As a passionate educator and learner, she enjoys driving innovation in the Edtech sector.
In addition to being one of the founding members of LessonWise, Yolande is a keen sportswoman and an outdoor activities enthusiast. Most notably, she represented Durham University and her former secondary school, Haberdashers’ School for Girls, in numerous nationwide Gymnastics competitions. She won U15 Champion at Girls Independent Schools Gymnastics Association (G.I.S.G.A.) and placed 2nd individually in Vault at British Universities and College Sports (BUCS).
1) Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in?
Having grown up and spent the majority of my lifetime in London, this would be where home is for me. As the saying goes, if you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life! Despite almost everything being over-priced, the rich diversity of people, food and culture makes it the best place in the world to live in.
2) What are your proudest achievements?
Being part of a growing team that delivered more than 2,300 live lessons and courses to over 5,000 students on the LessonWise platform. I am extremely proud of what we have achieved so far over the course of the past year (given our limited resources) and very much look forward to where the journey will take us in the future.
3) What inspires you?
Working collaboratively with an extremely diverse team. During my LessonWise journey, I have had the incredible opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills across all business functions, and network with industry experts to create a truly valuable product I am passionate about.
4) What has been biggest obstacle in your career?
The only obstacle is self-confidence. When you are planning, creating and executing blueprint strategies, it is essential knowing how to navigate feelings of self-doubt since you are constantly working in the unknown. However, the continuous positive feedback from our users is extremely reassuring and rewarding! - Thank you to those who have supported us so far.
5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?
This is a shout out to the CEO & Co-Founder of LessonWise, Manfred Olbrich, who pushes me everyday to come out of my comfort zone to learn, grow and succeed.
6) What is the best aspect about your current role?
The creativity and freedom to think about how to tackle long-standing worldwide educational inequalities, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19.
7) And the worst?
There is no worst part about the job. The nature of working in a start-up means that everyday presents itself with new challenges and opportunities, which motivates me to work harder, learn from mistakes and make an impact in society.
8) What are your long term goals?
Making LessonWise a success. I am highly committed to enhancing students' learning journeys, ensuring that they reach their goals more effectively and affordably. I wish to continuously expand my own knowledge in the field of product development and ensure that I better myself each day.
9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change?
I would deploy more campaigns to educate and encourage more women, especially from non-STEM backgrounds like myself, to pursue a career in the tech industry. The world is changing rapidly with new types of roles emerging, therefore it is highly crucial to be able to adapt to new technologies, tools and trends.
10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why.
It would have to be an artist. Someone like Turner, who is skilled at painting seascapes. We would be able to sit down and pass the time painting the scenery of the desert island.