Sebastian Fornefeld - Episode 518 January, 2024
On today’s episode of The Route to Networking podcast, we’re joined by our host, Cameron Beattie and a special guest, Sebastian Fornefeld, Managing Director at Micus Consulting.
During this episode, Sebastian discusses the challenges facing the fibre industry in Germany, the importance of personal development within a career and finding the balance between financial optimisation and reliability.
Before entering the world of telecoms, Sebastian pursued a career in Law, spending a long time studying to become qualified. Despite working as a lawyer for several years, Sebastian noticed that he wanted more personal growth opportunities out of his work. When a friend recommended a role at McKinsey & Company, it was the window of opportunity he had been looking for. Sebastian’s start in technology came when his father was looking to sell or pass down his company. After six years at McKinsey, he was ready to take on a new challenge, looking to seek out more responsibility, this felt like a natural progression. Beginning a new chapter in telecommunications.
When looking at the people who have helped him throughout his career, he recognises that having a formal mentor has never been his style. He makes the point that you can’t copy another person’s approach; it is personal and suits their natural charisma and quirks. He recommends that you should take different things from different people, building up your own approach. He also stresses that it is better to develop yourself while in a role rather than developing within the requirements of the role.
Looking at the fibre landscape, Sebastian touches on the challenges facing the sector in Germany. He recognises that despite Germany making the switch to fibre too late, they’ve caught up surprisingly quick. With lots of new entrants to the market joining in the last few years and a huge amount of fibre being built across the country, there is a noticeable lack of qualified hireable talent available which has been his biggest hurdle to overcome.
Reflecting on his career journey, Sebastian shares his advice for those just starting. He has learned that you don’t need a 10-year plan. They will never work out as you plan it. But that you should stay open-minded, flexible, and ready to take on opportunities when they present themselves. He also presses that formal qualifications are not the barrier to entry they once were, you can do almost anything you want to!
In the future…
Looking forward, Sebastian predicts that the next three years will see a continuation of planning and building the fibre networks across Germany. Interestingly he notes, the rural areas now have more fibre access than the busier metropolitan areas. Micus has been able to focus on providing fibre to more remote places, supported by government subsidiaries. Providing strong internet access can create a lifeline for communities increasing the support for remote workers, entrepreneurship, and the local economy.
Tune in on 18/1/24 to hear the full episode!