Mila Semeshkina and the Go Big project from Trivago: success in the era of a pandemic

Mila Semeshkina and the Go Big project from Trivago: success in the era of a pandemic

| Business

2020 deprived most people of the opportunity to travel the world, but some defied circumstances and started a new business. 

Trivago, the largest hotel booking service, found seven daring and determined people ready to embrace any challenge and seek opportunity in adversity. The Lectera CEO and Founder Mila Semeshkina is one of these magnificent seven! In an interview with Trivago, she described how Lectera managed to launch in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, what inspired her, and how she succeeded in the end.

Dependence on education

The idea for Lectera was born out of Mila's inexhaustible love of learning. After graduating from the Kuban State University, she received two degrees from the Lomonosov Moscow State University. While studying, Mila worked for such well-known brands as L'Oreal, MTV, Nickelodeon, and BMW.

Mila first thought about starting her educational platform when she was defending her doctoral dissertation. She observed a vast gap between theoretical knowledge, delivered by universities 90% of the time, and the applied skills needed for her job. The real world and university curricula were incompatible and Mila discovered a massive gap between them. However, despite the disappointment she experienced, Mila realized that this was a reason to take everything into her own hands and change the education market's current situation. That is how Lectera was born.

A change of plans

Mila used to make forty or fifty globe-trotting trips annually, but COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown paralyzed her life. The original plan for the Russian launch of Lectera was for March 2020, then, in the United States a month later. However, the coronavirus canceled these plans: Mila was stuck in Moscow, unable to visit Lectera offices in other countries in person, and the launch schedule had to be urgently revised. More than 70 I.T. specialists from seven countries of the world were involved in developing the Lectera platform. The platform's team also included methodologists, experts, content creators, over 60 translators, etc. Now Lectera is a whole infrastructure, and it had to be built right at the peak of COVID-19. That required the team to be resourceful and flexible, and sometimes even work overtime. They had to rethink the old methods and adapt the strategy of bringing Lectera to the market to the new realities. The platform launched three months later than expected - in June 2020. Nevertheless, it launched with flying colors.

What about today?

Mila knew what her future platform should look like even before she started working on it. Anyone over 18 years old can take courses in business, digital marketing, financial literacy, and all the necessary soft skills without any restrictions. Course prices range from "free" to $1,400 for mega-courses, a whole set of courses with a total duration of 100 hours. Also, one course takes 2 to 3 hours to complete, allowing the development of skills in the shortest possible time.

What sets Lectera apart is Mila's rigorous approach to selecting and processing training materials, which costs a lot of money. Lectera is not just a course marketplace like many other platforms, but a unique and authentic learning resource. Information that you can't apply in real life is sifted out during the course preparation. Every course is applied knowledge in a condensed form and is compiled or supplemented by international niche experts.

Today, the Lectera team employs more than 250 people. All the courses are translated into Russian, English, German, and Spanish. There are also plans to add Hindi soon. Every month, the platform handles thousands of text pages, hundreds of tests, homework assignments, and cases to help people learn skills.

Forged in the pandemic's fire and hardships, the Lectera platform continues to evolve. It has recently become available as an app for iOS and Android. The platform's offices are located in Moscow, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates. A fourth office is expected to open in 2021 (presumably in Asia).

Read the interview with Mila Semeshkina on the Trivago website:

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