I’m Fernando and I’m here to stay!

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by Fernando Pernica

Hey everyone!

It’s time again for you to meet the people working behind iversity’s computer screens! This time it’s me, Fernando, the pair of hands that kicked off iversity’s social media activities. In fact, there are few things I haven’t been involved with whilst working here. Whether assembling new office chairs (problem solved, Anna-Lena), sharing new ideas for our website, or labouring away on our ever growing collection of spreadsheets, I have been working with the rest of the team to bring this great idea to reality. I liked it so much that I decided to stay, no longer as an Intern, but now as a full time team member.

When I first heard about iversity, I had been in Berlin for only over a month and had just been awarded a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Politics from the University of Sheffield, UK. Having been born and brought up in Brazil, I spent the last five years in England, where my family and I can now call home. However, some people say home is where your heart is. At this very moment, my heart is all over Berlin. I’ve had the chance to experience so much that this exciting city has to offer. Not only an amazing nightlife, with dozens of great bars and clubs on offer, but also plenty of interesting people from all over the world to meet – including a few Germans here and there. And, let’s not forget Club-Mate, which all my friends know, I’ve grown pretty fond of in the past months (thank you Gerald, for ordering 8 crates for us!).

The most important thing, however, is that working here is showing me the truly endless possibilities of using the web to enhance and transform academic research and teaching. Working at iversity exposed me to the fast changing realities of Higher Education around the world. Those sceptical about the vital role of technology in making Higher Education not only better, but also more accessible to all, are having to rethink their positions. And I must say I’m very excited to be part of this!

Unfortunately, Jonas and Hannes started iversity three years too late! At University, I still had to use what we like to call PDF cemeteries. This pre-historical platform offered the least useful and most user-unfriendly online tools one could think of; it often became an obstacle rather than a help. And how ugly did it look! Gladly, this will soon be part of the past, where dinosaurs belong.

Since we launched the new website a few weeks ago the excitement – and the workload – has continuously increased! During team meetings we are shown the progress of the developers in polishing up the platform and we discuss how we can make our service even more dynamic and user-friendly. With every new mention of iversity in the press is followed by a not-so-discrete buzz in the office. And let’s not forget of the ‘Social Media bell’: a pretty efficient – and loud – way to announce every one in the office about their work in the press. 

We have already received some great feedback from our users and from the press all over the world. But of course, iversity has just started! So keep coming back to our blog for more updates and to see what the people here in the office have been up to. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Cheers!