With Carla Pinna, Mercedes Krimme, and Zuzanna Jaszczak
If you are interested in learning more about these talented people, please contact them directly via their information below.
Antoine Rey 00:17
Hi everyone, my name is Antoine Ray and I’ll be your host today for this special episode of Global Ambitions where, once again, fortunately and unfortunately we are bringing some candidates who have been victim of layoffs in the industry, in the localization industry, and we’re making the Global Ambitions platform available to them to advertise themselves and try to match them with potential companies that are hiring in the localization industry. And today we have Carla Pinna. Carla is located in Barcelona and has been working for a number of companies as a localization professional, and Carla will talk to you about herself. Carla, welcome to the program.
Carla Pinna 01:02
Hi everyone, thanks Antoine for having me in the program. I’m a listener of this podcast, so I’m happy to be here today. Yes, as you said, I’ve worked for a long time now in a company that is called Runtastic and I started as a translator for the Italian language and then during my career I had other roles, so I was like a product owner. I was project manager in the company. We actually started to a new challenge in Runtastic to move to an agile setup, so we had to restructure all our workflow processing and it was really challenging but also really interesting and we tried to put localization early in the process. So we collaborate closely with product design and also our product team and it was really interesting as an experience. And as a project manager, I was managing projects for creative content together with localization, and we were helping Adidas to promote their products, and so it was also really interesting because we had a lot of digital campaigns international ones so it was a great experience with Adidas to collaborate with them.
What makes me proud to work in the localization industry is that I discovered there is a great community also people love to support each other and also internally in my company it was always teamwork, so I really enjoy working with all my colleagues and also to have an exchange regularly because we had all different backgrounds but it was really cool to always have this exchange. So we enjoy working together. So I think I like this part of my job until now. For sure, what I experienced the most during my roles is a lot of stakeholder management, so really always aligned with my colleagues and being flexible and open also to new perspectives, especially working with international teams, so always on the spot to really understand all the other perspectives. And in my future I would like to be a localization project manager and I would also be interested maybe in supporting like startups to launch products in the international market. So yeah, I hope I can reach this goal in my career.
Great, well, listen everyone here, you’ve got it. You know someone like Carla, with very interesting background with linguistics, project management, stakeholder management which is quite a wide array of skills there and someone very enthusiastic to work with a startup organization or scale-ups there. So we’re going to leave Carla’s details below in the text there, so feel free to reach out directly to her and in the meantime, we wish you best of luck, Carla.
Hi everyone. Today we have Mercedes Krimme, and Mercedes has been working in the localization industry for a while with companies like Spotify and Meta, and today she’ll be talking to you about her passion for the localization industry and what she wants to do. Mercedes, welcome to the program.
Mercedes Krimme 04:04
Thank you so much for having me, Antoine, happy to be here. So, yeah, I’m happy to chat about my experience a little bit. I was most recently at Spotify, where I led the product localization team. I also managed our quality program manager, leading a team of about eight people. While I was at Spotify, I oversaw the expansion of the product into an additional 12 languages that brought us to a total of 74 that we were supporting. It also included launching some really cool language variants, like we launched Argentinian, Spanish and Mexican Spanish and some variants of Arabic, which was really cool. That’s the first time I was able to work on that and I think most recently, the thing I was really excited about was working on the AI voice translations launch. I think this was probably the most exciting thing I’ve had the chance to work on in localization. Just understanding how we can translate podcasters voices using AI, which was really super exciting. Also worked on a bunch of products like audiobooks, the AI DJ, everything that’s core to Spotify. That’s what the team that I was overseeing was working on.
Prior to Spotify, I was at Meta where I was the manager for the Facebook side of localization, so my team was supporting all of the classic core products at Facebook, like news feed, stories, groups, and as they intersected with Instagram, we partnered with the Instagram localization team as well, and that’s actually where I got my start in localization I was working at Meta, as a project data operations, working in a project management capacity but had always been super passionate about localization.
I was actually born in Germany, dad’s German, my mom’s American, so growing up in this like multicultural, multilingual household, I think translation has just always been a really big part of my life, and so I think, as like working in tech, once I knew that localization was something that existed. I wanted to be over there as quickly as possible. So I was working in project management and then really wanted to move my way over to low and was really lucky and grateful that Facebook at the time had, you know, and I’m sure they still do have really great internal mobility. So I was able to move over to localization and manage really complex localization projects in the Facebook space, including a lot of elections work, and I managed the localization for the COVID info center, which was extremely complex. We had real time news updates several times a day in multiple languages, so setting that up and having all these translators on call was just it’s pretty insane, but really amazing work I’m really proud of.
Both your roles like in the different organization, you worked with internal stakeholders as well as with localization translation partners, I presume.
Yeah, absolutely so really skilled in working with data science, engineering, both on the product side, and localization or internationalization engineering, product management, user research, content design, product design so all of the classic stakeholders in tech. I think the other thing I wanted to touch on that I’m super proud of is and I think this probably goes into the skills that I have and sort of what I would bring to another team I’m just super passionate about the end-user experience and having that user empathy and really leveraging the user qualitative data to understand where our product should be going, and so this really amount like at Meta at the time I was working on elections localization, so we were providing election information for global elections, and I was working on the Indian election at the time and I was working with the user researcher, where we piloted a content testing program. So we brought different translations and different tone frameworks to user research on the ground in India and then it was so successful, we did it in Brazil as well and we were really able to establish how our users want to be addressed on the platform and we established our whole tone framework for how we talk to our users through user research and that was just really fantastic work that I was able to speak about at Lock World a few years ago and then most recently at Spotify, was doing something similar, where I set up a first-ever user research program for localization. We ran a really cool study, a pilot, a few months ago and then have the green light to do a lot more user research next year, which unfortunately I won’t oversee, but would really love to do something like that again in my next role.
And though I was a people manager, which I absolutely love, and I love working on career development, I set up a career framework at Spotify and created a path to promotion for the team that didn’t exist before. So super passionate about career growth, but I’m also totally fine going to really strategic individual contributor role, working on product growth, working more on the user empathy side. I think I’m less passionate about really setting up core localization processes. I think at this point I really want to work somewhere that is looking to scale and looking to grow user-based internationally, so not as passionate about the day-to-day setting up TMS or all of that. I think much more on the product development side is where I shine and then scaling out teams either on the people management side or on the product development side.
Great and everyone Mercedes is based in New York and we’ll be sharing our contact details on the main page, so feel free to reach out directly to her. And thanks for coming on the show and best of luck, Mercedes.
Hi everyone. Today we have another candidate called Zuzanna Jaszczak, and Zuza has worked both on the clients and the LSB side and she’ll be talking about herself today. Zuza, welcome to the program.
Zuzanna Jaszczak 09:26
Thank you very much, Antoine. It’s a pleasure to be here. So my journey into localization was inspired by my interest in languages and foreign language learning and really the sheer joy and pleasure that I get from communicating with others in their native language, and I think those kinds of interactions bring people closer together and also allow for a deeper understanding of others’ perspectives and views of the world and the differences that we perceive, I think actually can bring us closer together in the end.
And for the record, you speak five languages, right?
I claim to speak like fluently four and I also have a bit of Catalan and French knowledge that I claim, but mostly like reading and you know, comprehension, not so much speaking anymore.
And the four languages are?
English, Polish, Spanish and Swedish.
When I was 10 years old actually is when my parents took me and my sister out of Poland, where I was born and raised, and we moved to the US and that’s where I learned English. It was pretty brutal because we had to learn it from scratch on the go, but it also made me realize that it’s a very worthwhile investment and I think it definitely motivated and inspired me to learn more languages further down the line. So a couple years after our move, I started learning Spanish and I ended up perfecting it during my stay in the south of Spain when I did my study abroad. Then, a few years after that, I moved to Barcelona and that’s where I worked up a bit of Catalan and, by way of Norway, I ended up in Sweden, which is where I’ve been living for the last 13 years. This is where I managed to pick up Swedish and also how I ended up at Spotify, where I’ve spent the last five years of my career in project management and program management within localization.
At Spotify, I’ve worked as the localization manager on the new markets program, so I was responsible for seeing to it the end-to-end localization life cycle was executed on and also helping enable cumulative about 50 languages, 50 new locales in the consumer app across all supported platforms, and I think the kind of most challenging and fun projects that I worked on within that sphere have been the enablement of Russian for Russia and CIS, Korean for South Korea, which is a very kind of special market in many ways and also one of the largest music markets in the world, and Catalan, which was a key component in the partnership that Spotify entered into with FC Barcelona.
And I have also worked as the localization lead on very large, complex, cross-functional initiatives which basically entailed launching new products in select markets as well as globally, and my sort of area expertise or focus was within the Spotify’s free and premium tiers.
So what I most, I think, enjoy during that time and what I most enjoy sort of day to day and what I’m looking forward to working with in the future is strategizing, connecting the dots, and driving momentum. I’m also an avid proponent of building strong partnerships with other disciplines where localization has touchpoints and dependencies. So disciplines such as product design, content design, engineering, user research and insights, data science these are the disciplines that we work with at Spotify at least, and I think those kinds of collaborations are really great opportunity to elevate localization to a position of a key stakeholder and also to create a perception that localization is in fact, a contributor of value-added in impact. I’m also very much into data-driven decision-making. I think it’s a great tool for prioritization and for alignment with the business goals at large, and obviously also helpful in rationalizing, justifying strategic decision-making. And then, in the end, it’s all about impact. So I think you know analyzing results, learning, and iterating on the work that has been done, with hopefully better, more effective, and efficient results in the future.
That’s perfect, Zuza. Thanks very much for joining this program, and we have your contact details in the transcript here, so anyone who wants to contact Zuza you can do it directly, and we wish you the best of luck, Zuza.
Thank you very much, Antoine, I appreciate it.