Behind The Scenes: Rani

Babbel’s newest Designer on the B2B team discusses why she left the advertising industry, set off on a sabbatical and eventually joined Babbel.

At Babbel, our endgame is getting people to have conversations with other people, in a new language. There are fantastic folks here making that possible. In our “Behind The Scenes” series, we sit down with them to provide a glimpse into who makes it all work, what they do, and where their heads are at. 

This round we’re talking to Rani Volmer, a Senior Designer on the B2B team.

What’s your role at Babbel? What do you do on a typical day?

I joined Babbel in January as a Senior Designer on the B2B team. In a joint effort with my incredible design team, I support, guide, and consult the B2B team in all aspects of concept and design, making sure that our brand is further developed and aligned throughout all channels. On a typical day, I will create anything from infographics, design assets, ad campaigns, ebooks, to webinars and sales presentations. All these are developed in close collaboration with Marketing, Content, Sales, Account Management, and Didactics, ultimately to be viewed by potential business partners.

Which languages do you speak?

I am fluent in both English and German. I grew up in a very international family, spread around the world, in Malaysia, Holland, America, Germany, so essentially we all had to at least speak one common language: English. I was born in Germany but moved to the States when I was 7. Having to learn the English language, over the years, I, unfortunately, forgot how to properly speak and write German. I headed back to Germany 12 years later and through daily conversations was back on my way to fluent German. On a side note, growing up in Texas I learned Spanish for about 7 years, which I am now freshening up with the Babbel app. 

What were you doing before Babbel?

For the first 10 years of my career, I worked in the advertising industry. I was fortunate to always have supportive and driven teams, but having dealt with recurring experiences of inflexible hours, minimum appreciation, tiring egos, I felt worn out and decided to set up shop on the client-side. Besides I thought it would be nice to focus on one product/brand for a change.

Having made the switch, I discovered a higher level of recognition, more benefits, fair responsibilities, and exciting opportunities to nurture personal growth by being able to acquire more knowledge outside of my field. This is due to being exposed to many different stakeholders and departments. I also found a purpose in my work as a designer at Babbel. I appreciate that I work for a company that aspires to break language barriers and makes it possible for people around the world, from all walks of life to be able to interact with and understand each other better.  At Babbel, I feel acknowledged for what I contribute to our goals. It is so fun to work together with so many talented and competent people that I can share synergies with daily; we all continue to learn with and flourish from each other. Best of all, my colleagues all leave their egos behind so that we can support each other as a team, and I love that!

What learning/growth opportunities have impacted you most?

Before I started at Babbel, I threw caution to the wind in 2020 and took a year off to discover the world! I wanted to expand my cultural knowledge, collect humbling experiences, and dip my toes in different waters, but then SURPRISE! Here came Covid-19 and dismissed those plans. My partner and I got stuck in India’s lockdown for a few months, ended up canceling our travels thereafter and headed back to Germany seven months prematurely. Yes, it was unfortunate but we made the best of our time. I am a vivid believer that a positive mind can move mountains so this series of events helped me grow stronger, mentally, by challenging my mindset. I decided to see the situation as opportunity knocking. In the months that I traveled, I shifted my perspective and was determined to find a job with purpose. So, I took the last months left of my off year to deepen my knowledge in learning and development, applied at Babbel, and in conclusion am now able to continue my journey of growth there.

And hey, good thing Babbel offers a sabbatical after 2 years of employment, so someday I may pick up where I left off with my travels.

Since we are now all working from home, how have you adjusted to this situation? Do you have any tips to share for WFH productivity?

The funny thing is I actually started working remotely. I have yet to meet my fellow Babbelonians live! Babbel arranges regular Virtual Coffee Dates that I like to take part in so that I can at least somehow get to know some of my colleagues on a one-on-one basis. Since our working hours are based on trust, I get my work done in my own time, which is a luxury I truly enjoy whilst WFH. This allows me to get in my sports or run errands whenever I want. A few tips I’d like to give for WFH is getting up and moving regularly; taking breaks to clear a foggy mind and taking strain off the eyes is crucial for productivity. I also recommend keeping an organized calendar and to-do lists to begin and end the day to keep oneself focused and aligned with weekly goals.

We’ve heard that you also love to bake cookies for your friends and family. Tell us more!

Haha yes! I love baking cookies for friends, family, and colleagues! Once upon a time, 12 years ago, I realized I missed chewy American chocolate chip cookies. At the time they were nowhere to be found in Germany so I baked them myself, family, and friends. Soon after, if I was invited to a party or a special occasion was around the corner, it was automatically expected that I would bring what my friends dubbed “Rani Cookies”. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk has been crowned the favorite sort amongst friends. Anyways, word-of-mouth was in the works, I grew a real-life fanbase and my friends encouraged me to start an Instagram account to present my hobby (@ranicookieslove). I built my own brand and was blown away by the incredible vibrations and love I received. I actually baked on demand for a bit just to see what would happen – a “Home Pop-Up Bakery” if you will. The response was amazing but I realized I wanted to keep it a hobby for now. It’s more fun baking and giving them away from the heart. But who knows, maybe…someday!

Want to work with Rani? Check out our latest job openings!

Head to our Instagram page for more #LifeAtBabbel content!
Follow us
Ewa Cabaj

Ewa works in the Internal Communications team in Berlin and heads up Babbel's Employer Branding. She likes to think of herself as a trilingual Polish-German-American nomad and is a big fan of all things noodle, travel, and dog-related content.

Ewa works in the Internal Communications team in Berlin and heads up Babbel's Employer Branding. She likes to think of herself as a trilingual Polish-German-American nomad and is a big fan of all things noodle, travel, and dog-related content.