In this part of our “My Ciklopea Story” series, one of the rocks of Ciklopea, our dear lead linguist Marijana Mikić shares her story. Enjoy reading!
How did you get into the language industry?
Well, I feel like I’ve been in the language industry my whole life. Ever since I was a kid, I would talk with my sister in English for practice while doing the dishes, for instance. Besides that I was exposed to German language and culture from early on as my mom grew up in Germany so naturally, I spent most of my summers there. After highschool I went on to study English and German; during that time I tutored both languages, taught English in a school for foreign languages and at the end of my studies I landed in Ciklopea as a translator. And here I am ever since.
How many languages can you speak and/or understand?
I speak Croatian, obviosuly, English and German. But I also like to say that I understand (and can speak) a lot of Spanish (thank you, Esmeralda). In primary school I attempted learning French, but it just didn’t grow on me. Would really like to learn Portuguese, though.
How did you become a Lead Linguist?
Returned to work after maternity leave and was offered a new position.
As almost anyone who worked here before, I started as a translator, translating only technical and IT texts. After a while I became a certified court interpreter and started proofreading and mentoring students that would come here to gain some work experience. I participated in the Ciklopea Summer School, which was an interesting and fun project where we all got to showcase everything we have learned so far to younger students and possibly future colleagues. So, it was the logical next step for me to take up the role of a Lead Linguist.
What is the driving force of your job?
I would really like to say the challenges and problems we tackle almost on a daily basis, the new technology and how it advances and changes rapidly, all the variety of texts, projects and clients we work with, the creatvity, the multitasking, the what not… but what really drives me, as cliché as it may sound, are the people I work with, my colleagues who make me laugh while doing the best that we can. The fact that we are a team, that you can count on them when necessary, that will be honest with you, that’s what makes me want to do my job. The people.
Is there anything you would change about your career path with hindsight?
Not really. Though my first day at work could have started better… but it’s water under the bridge now.
What is your piece of advice to your younger colleagues?
Worry less, be confident, but polite and respectful. I feel latter is missing in the younger generations.
What is your secret superpower?
I think I can sometimes make people feel good about themselves, or just better.
Who is your hero and why?
Children. Because they are (still) not corrupted, they are honest and love/accept you for who you are.
What is your motto or favorite quote?
Do not do to others what you don’t want to be done to you (Confucius) – learned that in highschool, but actually been living it my whole life.
The three things you would take to a desert island?
My sunglasses, my glasses and bottles of wine.
Describe Ciklopea in one sentence.
The ever changing environment with a few steady pillars.