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Inside View: Busuu.com

Following a €3.5 million funding round, Busuu.com is hiring. Areas suitable for MBAs include marketing, finance, operations, business intelligence and social media internships!

Busuu.com is the super successful language learning website which started in 2008 as an MBA class project by IE Business School students Bernhard Niesner and Adrian Hilti.

Busuu.com is a free online community for learning languages which now boasts 25 million users. The company recently relocated from Madrid to London to tap into an international pool of great technology and product experts. They aim to grow from a team of 15 to 40 people in the very near future!

Earlier this month we interviewed co-founder Bernhard Niesner, to take us through the story of this successful start-up. Now we speak to Katie Levy, Head of Talent at Busuu. It’s her job to ensure Busuu hires the best talent over the forthcoming year. She tells us about welcoming marathon runners and tri-lingual speakers and why no two days are ever the same…

What's Busuu.com in a sentence?
Busuu.com is the world´s largest social network for language learning with over 25 million users.
 
What's your role and how long have you been there?
My role at Busuu is Head of Talent. Part of my role is to ensure that Busuu attracts and hires the best talent over the next year. I joined the company in September 2012, so five weeks today.
 
What's the best thing about working for a web start-up?
It has to be that no two days are ever the same. It is chaotic, challenging, busy and exciting. Every individual works so hard and influences the shape of Busuu’s future.
 
It is amazing to think we are only 15 permanent people in London and have already achieved a great mile stone by having over 25 million users. It is also incredibly exciting to think where we will be once we have 40 to 50 staff working in the UK.
 
What have been Busuu's biggest successes/ initiatives this year?
We have closed our Series A round, raising €3.5 million and moved all the operations from Madrid to London. On top of that we are currently preparing exciting new product features which will be launched soon.
 
You’re currently recruiting, what roles do you have available?
We are currently recruiting Web developers, Graphic Designers, System Engineers, Marketing Specialists, Business Analysts and Business Intelligence Managers.
 
What key things do you look for in a candidate?
We look for ambition, a passion for languages, drive, team spirit, success, enthusiasm and team players who have a proven ability to go the extra mile.
 
We also like to see something which makes someone unique, in a positive way. We have a team of hikers, marathon runners, salsa dancers and wonderful geeks. Of course, they have to be super-smart: strong academics are a must for us.
 
Do you specifically hire MBAs? If so, for what types of positions?
Yes we do. The types of positions are CMO, CFO, COO, Business Intelligence. Also for Social Media and Marketing Internships.
 
What would you pay an MBA grad?
We would pay an MBA grad the market rate. On top we offer an exciting opportunity to work in one of the fastest growing e-learning companies. We also have different fringe benefits like private health insurance and free fruit. But overall we have a lot of fun at work and are enthusiastic about what we are doing.
 
You're a languages business, but how many languages does the average Busuu employee speak?
The average is three, but our Education Director speaks six! On top, everyone is currently learning a language at Busuu.com

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