Who's behind it? From Germany to Great Britain and back (sort of)

Welcome in the “About” section of this website.

proprietorBefore you go ahead to read about the company’s history or what a VA is all about, I thought it might interest you to learn a bit more about my personal and educational background, the time before I have started this great journey what has become I Assist Your Biz.

Born and raised in Germany, I’ve grown up with a father who was managing a civil engineering company and a mother, who worked as a secretary at a school. I watched my father taking care of the business, the projects of the day and his employees. And I saw my mother bringing order and system into a busy environment, thus assisting the head teacher and his staff. I didn’t know it at the time, my head full of things I wanted or could do with my life, that the combination of these two work environments would become my own world.

But there was a third influence: At school I more or less stumbled over the world of technology and computers. Volunteering to keep the school’s technology equipment in working order, I entered a world of cables, screwdrivers and soldering irons, a world which very much appealed to me. At the time being the only girl I’ve not only learnt the “tech lingo” but also took my first steps into a male dominated work environment.

A little later I’ve opted for Informatics as a school subject, at a time when it was still unusual to work with computers, especially as a girl. Still at Grammar school my mother arranged for me to take a course in typewriter typing, a skill which I disliked learning at the time but for which I am nowadays very grateful of having it.

In 1994 I left school with 4 A-levels, German and English amongst them. I went on to study social education but I swiftly figured that it wasn’t the right path for me and switched to university where I’ve studied Egyptology, Islamic Sciences & Computer Language Sciences. All three topics are language based subjects and they’ve opened my mind for other languages as well. In a time when the internet was still young and search engines didn’t offer translation tools yet, I had to rely on dictionaries and my knowledge of 9 years Latin, to read the scripts and books of explorers, ie. Champollion, as I never took French at school. Somehow I was able to decipher quite a bit of text for my necessary researches and this also increased my love for working with foreign languages in general. This skill has proofed to be valuable in my business if I have to approach someone in their language before switching to German or English.

Whilst at university and after I left, I worked in various roles, but most relevantly as a project assistant at companies like “NetCologne GmbH” or “RKW Architektur + Städtebau“.

In 2009 then I made the decision to come over to the UK. It wasn’t particular easy to find work over here in a time when recession troubled the country. But I never gave up and eventually found work as a voice-over linguist at “Clinphone” now “Perceptive Informatics” within the “Parexel Group”, a freelance role I still enjoy doing.
In 2011, I became a project assistant at “KeTech“, where I put my German language skills to good use, assisting with a project, then worth 4 million GBP. In late summer 2011, it was apparent that the project would need ongoing support of a German speaking assistant but not on a full-time basis. So the project manager and the HR director approached me with the idea if I couldn’t stay on board as a freelancer.

Well, and the rest is history