This series of posts was inspired by Lifehacker’s How I Work series, which I’ve been reading for quite some time and thoroughly enjoy. It’s about time we discover how our colleagues work and get to know them a little better.
If you want to participate in this fun series, send us an email at email@example.com so we can send you the Word template where you can fill in your answers and your bio (incl. your site/blog/social media links) and then send it back to us as an attachment along with your photo (optional but preferred). If you don’t like any of the questions, just delete them and add your own. You can read the previous interviews here.
Location: Berlin/Ettlingen (Germany) – I travel back and forth, more or less on a regular schedule.
Desired location: I’m fine with where I live and work. No place can make a human being happy if they don’t feel happy from within – at least not in the long run.
Current work title: Business Development Manager. I did the diversification thing. So I founded a marketing agency together with a designer and basically we offer the entire range of corporate communications. At some point during my translator career my clients asked me for additional services related to the field I specialize in: marketing. So it was kind of natural to hook up with someone who had the skills I lacked. Today, I am in charge of acquiring new projects and of course text and translations. My partner is in charge of anything regarding design, i.e. logos, illustrations, etc. Together we also draft strategies for our clients regarding their corporate communications across borders.
Desired work title: Uuuhm, I’m fine with the status quo.
Languages you have studied or currently speak: I learned Spanish and French in High School but totally neglected those languages after that time. I grew up speaking English first, later my mother started talking German to us. She was half German and half Puerto Rican. My dad was an American with Lithuanian roots.
The project you’re most proud of: Professionally: The association I founded two years ago. The DVÜD e.V. (German Association of Freelance Translators and Interpreters). And then actually setting up my freelance business in the first place. I did so in a time that was really hard for me. A lot of people doubted that I’d make it. But I did. To be honest, I am proud of myself quite often. Not in an arrogant way, but a happy way. My job really makes me happy. Every day. I’m proud of that.
Your current computer setup: 15 inch Mac Book Pro with a retina display, iPad 2, iPhone 4.
Do you own a smartphone? Sure ‘nuff. J Ever since they’ve been available.
Favorite time of the day: Honestly? Lately it’s been the last hour of the day, when usually everybody else at the house has gone to bed and I can just kick back and let the day pass by. I always feel like that after the conference/congress season, which just ended for me for this year.
Favorite gadget (apart from computer & smartphone): My notebook. Of course it’s pink. I used to hate anything that looks girlish. Now, at the age of 37 I love bling-bling and purple and pink. And my chap stick. Never leave the house without it.
Next conference/event you’re planning to attend: I will be speaking at a University in Munich at the beginning of next year. And then there’s the regular tables all across Germany that my colleagues from the DVÜD and I organize that I always try to attend. Besides that the FIT World Conference is on my list and some other conferences, symposiums and fairs. I travel a lot. Love to meet people and talk about my job and educate end clients about our profession in general. So most events are not really related to translation.
How many hours per day do you usually work: Hard to say. Since part of my work includes marketing and social media marketing, it’s kind of hard to draw a line. Plus I have some smaller projects that really don’t count as work because they emerged from hobbies I have been able to monetize. Like writing about food. If you want to know how many hours a day I actually translate, it’s probably somewhere between 3 and 5 hours. But I usually start at 8 am and shut down my computer at 10 or 11 pm. However, I do take breaks during the day. Siesta. Can you tell that I don’t have a fixed schedule? One of the things I love about freelancing.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Extrovert. Definitely. At least when it comes to professional issues. I also have a personal blog. Sometimes I feel that people think they know a lot about me. But truth of the matter is: I am very well aware about what I share and what I don’t share. A friend of mine recently said: Have you noticed that you’re marketing yourself like a brand? I wasn’t aware of that but I guess he’s right, although it doesn’t happen intentionally.
Are you an early-riser or a night owl? Night owl. I hate to sleep. It’s a necessity.
What do you listen to while you work? My dog when he walks around the house. Classic music when I do creative things and RnB or Salsa music when I do administrative stuff.
And a few non-work related questions to get more personal 🙂
Your babies or pets, incl. names and ages: My son Nino will be 20 in April and Kevin will be 18 in February. Our dog Lucky will be 7 in April.
Next city/country you want to visit: Lisbon would be nice for a short-trip. Business-wise it’s likely to be Munich.
Favorite vacation place: Anywhere my loved ones are. I really don’t feel attached to places. Guess because I grew up as a typical Army brat. I moved across continents 8 times before I settled in Germany at the age of 16.
Favorite book: A book about letting go and loving yourself by a Swiss author. It’s called the LOL2A Principle. LOL2A stands for LO = letting go (loslassen), L2 = love2 (Liebe hoch zwei) and A = taking action rather than just reacting (Aktion statt Reaktion). I’m not really cabalistic, but this book has taught me some valuable lessons.
Favorite song: Where do I start? There are so many beautiful and inspiring pieces out there and it really depends on my mood. But an all-time favorite: ‘Purple Rain’ by Prince.
What are you currently reading? I kid you not: Some lectures on marketing strategies. Seems like the older I get the more I enjoy educating myself on business-related matters.
Author bio – Tanya Quintieri
I am a so-called job changer. I didn’t study anything related to translation, but I grew up speaking both English and German. I used to be (without knowing it) one of those ‘translators’ that graduate translators tend to dislike. I learned the hard way that it takes more than two languages to be a professional translator. But I traveled that road and I learned my lessons. Today I’m a certified translator and I encourage young students to acquire the skills that are not taught at universities, job changers to seek the necessary qualifications, and experienced professionals to share their knowledge about successful freelancing as a translator or interpreter. I believe it’s the only way to make a difference for our industry. I am a founding member of PatchworkLabs | Quintieri & Herrmann GbR based in Berlin and of the DVÜD e.V., and mother to two wonderful sons. Oh, and I’m a passionate blogger, too! You can find me on Twitter, and elsewhere. If it’s labeled ‘Social Media’ I’m likely to be found there. Good thing my name is unique. 😀 And if you don’t find me by my name, check for missgeschicke.