icon icon


Divers by nature.

We are colourful and we are successful promenade mixtures. A German core, the aroma of Italy, the Russian soul, the vastness of the USA, the mountain air of Austria, the scent of Colombia and the spice of the Orient. We are a team of many ladies and gentlemen from all countries, of all ages and of the most diverse professions.

We are us. We are authentic. We are honest. We are soulful. We are motivated to do our best for you and for us every day. And we want to support and accompany people in learning new things, gaining experience and knowing more - about methods, techniques, tools - and themselves.


Stefan Schmitt

Founder & CEO

Stefan is the founder and mastermind of the institute. He has worked for a couple of decades as a designer and consultant for companies of all shapes and sizes. He founded the institute in 2014, just in time for the birth of his first daughter. In him, the German penchant for perfection, quality and structure meets the Italian dolce vita. Stefan can only do a few things at once, otherwise he is not happy and healthy. He loves developing ideas, making plans and getting new things off the ground. For many years he has unsuccessfully practised contemplative techniques to become calmer and more relaxed. He lives and works wherever there is electricity and internet.

Write an Email

Maria Zander

Managing Director

Maria made it across early in her life - she moved from Dresden as a young adult to conquer Leipzig. She is not only good with people, but also with numbers, words and works. With a solid business background and a good shot at sales, she is dedicated to people and the human condition itself. She ensures that our team continues to grow - in every respect - and that we can strengthen ourselves with great, accomplished and motivated people. She is constantly on the air. When she is not on the air, she spends whole evenings with her son exploring Catan and the world.

Write an Email


Irina Schmitt

Art historian & communication trainer

Irina is an art historian, designer and teacher. She is the glamorous eminence in the background who gives the institute its soul. Without her, Stefan's inner child would be hopelessly lost. Warm Russian blood flows in her veins with a good shot of German blood cells from past lives. Contrary to all Russian legends, she prefers black tea to crystal clear vodka. She can create elaborate hair designs as well as impart knowledge about the history of art. In her life, she has done just about everything once. She goes with Stefan wherever there is electricity and internet and her children can live, play and learn happily.

Write an Email

Anne Knitsch

HR- and Project Manager

Anne combines competence and cordiality. With her always friendly demeanor and positive charisma, she manages to keep calm and maintain an overview even in stressful situations. Her love of structure is reflected in the meticulous maintenance of her to-do lists and her ability to always keep an eye on deadlines and meet them on time. Her open-minded and helpful manner ensures that everyone feels well looked after and understood.

Write an Email

Carola Klein

Office Manager & Customer advisor

Carola is the good soul of the institute. Although she comes from Saarland, she speaks fluent German. She takes care of you and us. Her baking skills ensure our physical well-being. She is responsible for making sure that everyone is well. With her unbelievable overview, she always knows everything and keeps an eye on everything. Nothing escapes her attention. She is always there for everyone and close to everything that happens.

Write an Email

Garnet Gottensträter

Sales Manager

Garnet is our calm in strength. Her Colombian blood flows warmly and evenly through German veins. She burns for what she does. She sells you everything there is to have in the bazaar of personal development. Once she has shared her screen, she skilfully guides you through every meeting. Garnet is our go-to person for companies who want to do something for the development of their employees. With Garnet, there is nothing off the peg - here, customised tailoring is the order of the day.

Write an Email

Iva Maria Römmelt

Sales Manager

As a native Bulgarian, Iva brings a touch of Eastern charm to Düsseldorf. With her determination, dynamism and passion for communication, she wins everyone over in no time at all. After studying media and communication management, she gained her first experience in social media marketing. She then found her calling in the sales industry. She is an empathetic and detail-oriented strategist who always strives to find the best solutions. Whether by phone, email or in face-to-face meetings, she always knows how to inspire her counterpart. When she's not tweaking new sales strategies, she can be found at the gym or traveling to exotic destinations. Her love for animals is immeasurable, and as a dedicated activist, her dream is to one day give back to the community.

Write an Email

Valentina Caronia

Account manager & Community Manager 

Valentina is a real bundle of energy: with her Italian charm and supportive nature, she takes hearts by storm. Whether by phone, Slack or e-mail - she is always on hand with her creative solutions. With her infectious positivity, she puts a smile on everyone's face. With Valentina at your side, everyone and every woman feels well looked after and understood. She knows the answer to every question and her sunny disposition ensures that everyone feels well looked after.

Write an Email

Igor Vasiliev

Marketing Strategist

Igor is our digital marketing strategist with that certain something. With a background in business studies and over 10 years of experience in digital marketing across industries (including EdTech), he not only brings best-practice strategies, but also design power. His time at two bootcamps in Marbella and Barcelona in 2018 shaped him: he loves engaging digital experiences. In his free time, you can find him playing music (hip-hop & electro), boardsports, cultural trips or simply enjoying good food & traveling. ‍Igor is looking forward to creating innovative strategies and digital experiences with the xd-i.com team!

Write an Email

Camilo Garzon

Digital Designer  

Camilo is our man for beauty and goodness. He not only pushes pixels from one side to the other, but also plays with vectors and animations. His head constantly tingles and makes his hair curl. He is responsible for making everything work and look good. He wields the digital brush nimbly and knows how to skilfully set the scene for every colour palette. There is no design tool that does not obey his nimble fingers.    

Write an Email

Tobias Müller

Learning Technologist    

Tobias is one of the few people who combine both design and technical skills. With his experience in UX design and front-end development as well as his interdisciplinary way of thinking and working, he acts as a connective tissue between the trades. Tobias loves to create order and optimize processes. He conceives and designs learning journeys in collaboration with our Learning Design Team and is the contact person for technical and design issues.  

Write an Email

Barbara Hoffmann

Learning Designer  

Barbara is our alpine powerhouse. She has made her way across the Alps to Lake Garda. Austrian culture and nature meets La Dolce Vita. With good luck, she speaks fluent Italian in short order. She knows how to get a curriculum going just as well as she knows how to get a video into the right shape. She brings our courses up to speed and makes sure that everything runs smoothly. Her Learning Journeys are an enjoyable adventure with tangible results. There is no participant who doesn't look forward to the next chapter with her.

Write an Email

Monika Gielerski

Learning Designer    

Monika is the synthesis of German thoroughness and Polish fire. When her 'inner Monk', with its well marked need for order, structure and cleanliness, is not rebelling, she takes a 'tough but hearty' approach to tasks. She brings structure and passion to her work and inspires her colleagues to bring out the best in themselves. Her Polish temperament means she doesn't shy away from confrontation. She is honest to the core. Her colleagues appreciate the fact that she is always authentic and genuine. As a little herb witch, Monika has a natural solution for many everyday ailments and is happy to share her knowledge.

Write an Email

Preston Melchert

German-English Translator

Preston is our bilingual brain. Not yet German, but also not completely American anymore, he juggles English and German to make our courses available to all eager students in both languages. After completing his studies in both natural and linguistic sciences, he made a small professional detour through clinical research, only to oscillate back into linguistics. His oscillation between linguistic prowess and scientific rigor has equipped him to cover the diverse spectrum of courses at XDi with his precise translations.

Write an Email

Sergej Gavrilov

Working student Motion Graphics

Sergej supports XDi as a working student with a focus on the animations of our teaching content. He brings a keen eye for detail and technical finesse that brings movement and life to our learning materials. Sergej enjoys working on making complex topics easier to understand through clear and appealing animations. In his spare time, he immerses himself in movies and animations to find new inspiration. With his work, he helps to ensure that our learning content is not only informative, but also visually more accessible.

Write an Email

Jolina Ottenjann

Media Design Dual Student

Jolina supports our marketing team as a dual student in media design. She brings creative ideas and a fresh perspective to our campaigns and projects. Jolina likes to create visually appealing designs that convey complex messages clearly and concisely. In her spare time, she experiments with new design techniques and draws inspiration from art and media. Her work helps to make our marketing strategies both effective and visually appealing.

Write an Email

Laura Amani

Sales & Office Manager

Laura has her roots in the centre of power. She drinks Hessian Äppelwoi with Spanish chorizo. When her stomach is not rebelling, she tries to convince our customers and prospects that we are the best. Beyond that, she is up for anything and everything. She has succumbed to oriental charm and recently entered into holy matrimony. Now she has become a mum to a little Capricorn and is taking care of the really important things in life.

Write an Email