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Tanja Schjellerup

Tanja Schjellerup: Leading the Horizons of Excellence

Every innovative leader has a vision for where they want to go and a strategy for how to get there. They can apply their strategy ideas to see what works and what doesn’t, and then evaluate the results of their efforts against their vision. An innovative leader understands that not every new idea is the one. Some will fail, but that’s part of the process. Innovative leaders will always believe in themselves and envision positive outcomes.

Confidence is looking within and tapping into the talent and skills to bring your team to success, even when issues arise. When leaders believe they have what it takes and display that confidence to their teams, it significantly impacts the work environment and culture. Leaders in the education sector inculcate these attributes and thrive towards enabling new advancements for future generations. These traits shed the spotlight on Tanja Schjellerup, Founder of Skolen Online Aps.

With a vision to build a foundation for a global company, Tanja figured out how to be a leader and run a business with employees. She already had her pocket full of theories and educational knowledge to build it on, so she reckoned on how to put her knowledge into practice and use it in everyday business and, with this, get a real cope of the “know-how” to design, kickstart, run and keep on developing and growing a business with a team.

Tanja shares her professional tenure and journey so far in this exclusive interview.

Below are the excerpts from the interview:

Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader until your current position at Skolen Online Aps. What challenges have you had to overcome to reach where you are today?

I’m still continuously learning. Being open and curious about gaining new skills and knowledge is imperative to become a high performer. Not only for myself but also for the entire team.

I have learned these past years that it’s not as difficult to find employees as it is to find the right employee and team. Especially when you are the leader of a remote team, it is critical to build up an organization where everyone knows what’s expected of one another. It is even more critical to ensure that the team feels the spirit of teamwork, so everybody moves in the same direction.

Tell us about your company and its mission and vision; how does your company thrive towards enabling advancements in the ever-evolving education sector?

Skolen Online strives to take education to the next level by mixing online technology with offline reality. We aim to be a global learning network. With possibilities for flexible studies. So as a student, you can either join online classes and access the live lessons or follow the classes and lessons via self-study with materials, information, assignments, and feedback from the learning facilitators.

We find it imperative to focus on the adults of tomorrow. That makes a lot of sense because they are the ones that must carry on in this society. They need the knowledge and the skills to take on whatever is coming their way. And the more knowledge and skills we can help them gain, the more they can accelerate into what they really find interesting. Providing for tomorrow and the future is easier when they excel at powering up their own capabilities and skills.

Enlighten us on how you have been impacting the education industry through your expertise in the market.

By creating a different kind of learning environment for students +7 years of age, we have created a place that provides possibilities for various students.

We aim to ensure that more students graduate from grade school instead of ending up as dropout students. We have proven it to be possible. In school year 20/21, we launched our first online classes.

Through our collaboration, we have helped students complete their grade school education. It means they have started thriving again and believe in their own skills. In addition to being able to continue their own educational path, that is equally significant for society.

Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your organization.

We are built on a foundation of trust and flexibility. With this also comes the expectation of high standards. Those go hand in hand. Teamwork also by the saying one for all, all for one, we leave no one behind. That comes to our customers and to our teammates.

Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you advancing towards technological innovations to make your solutions resourceful?

We use technology every day to run our platform and stay in touch with our students. Therefore, technology is an integrated part of the business. Overall, it’s imperative to recognize that technology is still evolving. And it will never stop evolving.

What is important is to make sure that it’s implemented in a smart way and not used in a way where humanity does not keep developing our knowledge and skills as human beings and as society as a whole. This is because humanity should focus on thriving and doing the right thing for everybody because that keeps the wheels running.

What, according to you, could be the next significant change in your sector? How is your company preparing to be a part of that change?

Online learning is becoming more coming, and the growing acknowledgement, especially in Denmark and other countries alike that are rather new at using the online school for children, that students from junior high and high school can learn via online teaching and classes and that for some it’s the best way of learning.

I believe that we will experience a greater shift from “everybody learning the same” to a more differentiated and flexible way of learning. With a wider focus on how you learn, when you learn, what you learn and why you’re learning it and with more possibilities to choose where you learn it as well.

In the end, it’s the job market that decides if you have the quality and the qualifications to take a job in that specific workplace. This will enable you to meet the expectations that follow. The greater the shift towards understanding this, the more education will be about evolving individual skills than everybody learning the same curriculum. That will be a different and significant change in the educational sector.

There is increasing acceptance that all students learn differently in the educational field. We have individual brains, and not everybody needs to be in the same environment to learn. Consequently, the more we support each other and work together to develop alternative learning environments, the better we will be able to create them. The more we create of these and support each other in the different approaches and possibilities that come from them, the better we can make the now and the future for anybody pursuing education, as it enhances the possibilities that there will be a learning environment fit for their specific and preferred way of acquiring knowledge.

It’s important to remember that education is ever evolving because we change; with that, the educational sector must follow and keep up.

Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals for Skolen Online Aps?

I believe that Skolen Online will keep growing into a more significant player in the educational field. Particularly for students who don’t thrive in traditional schools and don’t belong in special education schools. It has already become a place for digital nomads, homeschoolers and for everybody who’s seeking a global learning network.

Not only is it for young students, but also for adults, including parents. We are aiming to be a globally well-known multilingual educational platform that people will choose whenever they need online classes or self-study materials for themselves or their children.

What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the dynamic education industry?

It is not specific to the educational industry but is applicable to any aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start their own business. You need to feel the WHY. You need to figure out WHY you are doing what you are doing, and the answer should not be “for profit”. Why are you doing it? Be sure that you know how to answer that question.

To succeed in what you do, you must know why. So, ensure that you give yourself time to evaluate your WHY, and remember to figure out how, what, where, and when to implement your WHY.

And don’t be afraid to reach out, ask questions, grow your network and build your knowledge around peers that can support you in your journey. Be curious. And dare make mistakes.