The Linguist

The Linguist 56,6 – December 2017/January 2018

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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30 The Linguist Vol/56 No/6 2017 Q. Why did you choose to study German at university? A. I have a German family, so that was a big motivation to learn the language. The course at Birmingham offered some great opportunities; for example, living in Berlin on my year abroad and working for a consultancy firm. Having German has also added something extra to my CV to set me apart from others, helping me to get German-speaking temping roles. Q. Did you always want to work in the fashion industry? A. It's difficult to know exactly what to do after university. Having worked in a number of jobs – from consulting to sales to recruitment – I realised I wanted to work in an industry that combined creative and analytical skills. Someone recommended merchandising, and I found the perfect opportunity with Dorothy Perkins. Q. What does the role entail? A. I work in wholesale merchandising with one of our biggest wholesale partner, Zalando, a German e-tailer [online retailer] based in Berlin. Together with the buying and merchandising team, I sell Dorothy Perkins products for Zalando's website. My job involves analysing sales, trends and performance to maximise sales across all Dorothy Perkins products. I work with a lot of clothes and a lot of numbers, which means every day is different. Q. Do you use German in the course of your work? A. While Zalando's official business language is English, it is very useful to be able to speak German. I am able to translate documents and help build the relationship with Zalando. It is important to remember that, although English is the most spoken language in the world, there's nothing like speaking with somebody in their own language and understanding how German business culture works. Q. How important was your degree to getting the job? A. It was necessary to have a Bachelor's degree. Having originally interviewed for two roles, I was put forward for my current role because German gave me the edge. Q. Were you specifically looking for a job where you could use your language skills? A. Using languages was and is very important to me, mostly because it can open up opportunities where you least expect them. It means always having the chance to work abroad and with a wide variety of people. If you stop using a language you can lose it, so being able to combine it with my work is a real bonus. Interview by Madeleine Kilminster. International Business with German graduate Anna Blesing discusses her role as Merchandising Assistant at Dorothy Perkins Just the job Links online ALBA SORT Translator and integrated marketer Alba Sort continues her tips for using LinkedIn. Once your LinkedIn profile is ready, grow your network by inviting your real-life contacts to connect. LinkedIn will offer to do this for you, but it's best to do it manually so you know who receives what and when. The platforms enables you to message your '1st-degree' connections, some '2nd- degree' connections and also people in the same LinkedIn groups as you. Use the rules to your advantage: if you want to email someone outside your network, check what groups they belong to; it may be worth joining so you can message them directly. If you want to take a more systematic approach to finding potential clients, use the advanced search option to identify your ideal clients and reach out to them. Keep your invite short, relevant and professional, and never use the default message. Mention what you have in common and explain why you would like to connect. Track your new connections using a spreadsheet and follow up with them, but don't be a pest. Be aware that if you send too many invitations and they are mostly rejected or ignored, you will not be able to add any more contacts to your network. Think twice before accepting invitations from strangers. Any new connections will be able to see who is on your network. Do you feel comfortable granting them access? Your contacts will assume that you trust everyone in your network, which could prove problematic if that's not the case. Finally, it's a sensible precaution to back up your LinkedIn data regularly – from your contacts to your recommendations. To request an archive of your data, go to the 'Account Settings & Privacy' option under the 'Me' icon, then click on the 'Account' tab and scroll down to 'Getting an archive of your data'. As a nice bonus, you'll be able to use the resulting spreadsheet as your Christmas card mailing list. What's not to love? Share your thoughts @Linguist_CIOL using #TheLinguist. OPINION & COMMENT

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