How We Changed Our Careers Through Uprise
Two months ago, I graduated from Uprise Academy, finishing in Colombia and embarking on a new adventure in Australia. I had gone on the program to experience being massively out of my comfort zone, to level-up as a person, and get the skills to monetise my travel writing.
Yesterday, exactly one month later, I had my first income from my travel writings. And it’s not just me making big things happen – within that same month, some of my fellow alumni have achieved breakthrough outcomes in their careers too.
Hildur designed a smartphone app for music festivals.
RJ and Fyo collaborated to launch their tech startup “Skyll”.
So if you’re wondering what you could get out of Uprise professionally and how it all happens, keep reading.
Uprise is a program that can bring you many things, but the best part is that you choose why you’re going and what skills you want to develop in those three months. There are people who want to break out of their routines, feel alive and reimagine what’s possible in their careers. Others already have big aspirations and want to get the capabilities to make those goals a reality. And some want to acquire the knowledge for an entrepreneurial career and live life on their own terms.
“It’s simple – you set your goals and Uprise helps you reach them”
Uprise gives you the tools to reorient your life, both personally and professionally. But you won’t get anything if you don’t do your part.
This is why I’m telling the story of how some of my fellow Uprise academy alumni have upgraded their careers through this program. We’re people who have worked very hard to get what we have now, but it would have been so much harder without the help of Uprise Academy.
The Writing Passion That Turned Into A Career
I'll start with myself! I went to Uprise Academy with several personal objectives, and one big professional objective; to monetise my travel writing. I chose the Digital Marketing path, knowing that reaching the right people with my blog would be key.
At the time, I’d been travelling the world for eight months and decided to write a blog called The Backpack Experience, where I give practical advice to my fellow backpackers who love trekking and discovering hidden places. In addition, one of my goals was to generate income from it that would pay for my next trekking trip – or, in the long term, make it my modus vivendi. But after several months working hard on my blog, I couldn’t get past 100 weekly visits and was barely making any income from it. All the feedback from visitors was fantastic; the content was great! And yet few people came… the phrase “Build it and they will come” had never rung so false.
I had to find a way to reach more people.
Knowing that, I dedicated the first two months of Uprise Academy (Chile and Peru) to studying the Digital Marketing course, and the last month (Colombia) to applying it on my blog. Surprisingly, in less than one month I had multiplied my visits and started several partnerships with different companies and, two months later, I had my first income flying into my account. Without doubt, a massive motivation to continue working on my travel writings!
In hindsight, a big contributor to my success was living in a phenomenal co-working space while in Colombia (Selina Medellín) – where it was very easy to meet people with interesting projects and start new ones together.
“Get amazing people together in novel and productive environments, and sparks of originality will flow”
I remember bumping into a Colombian businessman in the co-working space, who sold furniture in Bogota. After talking with him about his project, I showed him the benefits of building a digital marketing plan for his business; and three days later we started working together.
That combination – of amazing people coming together, and focus on learning new skills for upgraded careers – worked for me, and so many others on our tribe, like Hildur.
The Powerful New App For Music Festivals
Another case that I could see very closely is that of my good friend Hildur. Hildur is an Icelandic girl who conveys energy and joy as soon as you see her; she definitely “lives life to the fullest” and you never know what’ll happen once you start a night with her. That said, she’s also very hard-working. She set several goals for herself on Uprise Academy and fulfilled all of them. I had the pleasure of sharing her goal of running 10km in less than an hour on our last day in Medellin.
Hildur worked as Site Officer Manager for several music festivals, a job she liked. But she needed something more. Her passion for travelling led her to backpack through Thailand and Bali before settling in Barcelona. And from there she joined the program, looking for new ways to keep her connection with music festivals while also being her own boss.
It was on Uprise Academy, in Peru, where she had the idea of designing an app to transform the festival experience for music-lovers. Armed with her new knowledge from the UX Design course, and many hours of work in Colombia (some nights included), her project slowly developed into "The Festival App That Solves Problems". You can read the full description of her project here. Hildur now has funding to develop the app for a year; ready for testing at real festivals in summer 2019!
The Collaboration To Change Lifelong Learning
Last, but not least, I have to highlight the power of the network you’ll grow through the experience.
On the one hand, you have access to the best co-working spaces in the cities you live in. They’re places where people work with different ideas and projects, and where you can learn a lot while you know the right people to develop yours. They are, saving the distances, the new Agoras.
On the other hand, the program carefully selects the members of each tribe, so that each and every one will contribute something different to the group. There are those who’ll contribute a more business-oriented vision of the world, others a more zen mindset, and some will have a green and sustainable mentality. But what’s certain is that everyone wants to learn and everyone can teach you something new.
At the professional level, some synergies are created between people from different fields that can be complemented to create new projects. In my tribe, one of these magical synergies emerged between RJ and Fyo.
RJ is a Singaporean girl who worked in marketing for several years and decided to join Uprise to change careers and challenge herself in a new environment. And on a personal level, she’s probably the most knowledgeable person I’d ever met - every conversation with her would lead to a new revelation.
Fyo is the perfect businessman: elegant, interesting and able to sell his vision to anyone. Born in Russia, he established his successful real estate company in London over the years, before starting a new project in Los Angeles. He went on Uprise Academy because he needed to break out of his rhythm; to reorient himself and start exploring the startup scene. Together, we conquered Vinicunca, a mountain in Peru above 5000 meters; there was truly no challenge he could not face.
So two people from very different cultures and backgrounds, and yet they found common ground with their new startup venture, Skyll.me: a venture where both of them could contribute something different, with the business-mind of Fyo and the digital marketing knowledge (and almost everything necessary) of RJ.
Skyll.me is a smartphone app project that allows you to share your passions and discover interesting new skills taught by people near you. It’s still under construction (September 2018), but knowing RJ and Fyo I’m sure it will not be long before it is alive.
As you can see, Uprise is different for everyone. It depends on how you face it and what goals you set.
You can face it as a personal growth experience, improving something that doesn’t work in your life. You can try to improve an existing project that could be so much more empowering, like I did. You can get the skills and network to turn your hobby into the basis of a freelance career, like Hildur. Or you can take advantage of the high-calibre people and open-minded vibes of the tribe to start a company with someone, like RJ and Fyo.
“The program can’t promise you a radical change of life if you don’t play your part”
Uprise Academy gives you the tools and they teach you how they work, but it’s up to you to apply them and continue challenging yourself, both personally and professionally. And if you do use them… well, prepare to level yourself up.