Hey Michèle, I want to be VirtaMed's new Technical Writer!
I am a Belgian living in Switzerland. Self taught content creator, web consultant and event technician. Introvert with excellent social skills. I used to spend my free time riding BMX, swing dancing and playing the tuba, but I don't have much time for that anymore since I became a father of a little boy a few weeks ago.
Why do I want to work for VirtaMed?
First of all VirtaMed looks like a great employer. A young, diverse and international team, a friendly culture and attention to a healthy work life balance. And helping surgeons get better training to ultimately help more people with these advanced surgeries seems like a wonderful thing to work on. I could see myself enjoying coming to work everyday and being proud to work for this company.
It also sounds like the position is just perfect for me. I'm fluent in English and really enjoy creating content. As a freelancer I wrote a lot of copy for clients' websites and newsletters and in my current job I have helped create operator manuals for new AV equipment and documentation for our event clients explaining all the different things we can do for them. In certain situations however it's easier to show than to explain with words and therefor I love video as a medium for educational content as well.
I learned how to explain technical things to non-technical people from having been my family and friends' tech support since I was twelve and later helping my clients understand and leverage web technology to grow their small business and run it more efficiently. It often takes quite a bit of patience and persistence, but it's so very satisfying to me when I see that click, that sparkle in their eyes when they finally get it.
The thing though that mostly excites me about this position is getting the chance to coordinate this whole project of building the knowledge base. I love nothing more than to sink my teeth into a big project, bring the right people together and create something that is better than the sum of it's parts. I often received praise from clients/colleagues for my accurate and thorough communication and record keeping. I set a high standard for myself and also try to inspire those working with me to do the same.
Another plus for me is that the VirtaMed offices are so close to where we live. I would really enjoy the much shorter commute, riding my bike to work and spending more time with my family.
So I'm clearly excited to join you and the other colleagues at VirtaMed. The question now is, "Do you, Michèle, think I am the right candidate for the job as well?"
You can read below what I have done so far and what skills I would bring to the team.
I had my first steps in building websites in 2006 as a teenager. Messing around with basic HTML and CSS. My first steps in photography were soon after in 2008. After experimenting with my family's point and shoot camera I bought my first DSLR, a Canon 40D, and was shooting mainly freestyle BMX riding and events for fun. I would always share my pictures online and write little blog posts to go along with those pictures. I dreamed of becoming an extreme sports journalist/photographer (not a great career choice I realized later).
I was studying Industrial Sciences the majority of my time in school, but then shifted direction to Photography. I graduated in June 2010 through the Central Examination Commission of the Flemish Community.
At age 18 I moved out of my parents house and got myself a place in the lovely city of Ghent. To pay for rent I started working as a salesperson and warehouse worker in Ghent's RETIF store. I was standing on my own feet and loved the independence.
Of course the retail job was not what I wanted to do the rest of my life. I started freelancing on the side as a photographer/web designer and the plan was to eventually take this full time. However while taking me first steps as a creative for hire and learning about business I got fascinated by stories of booming startups and large sums of venture capital. I also had this idea for a different way of producing and selling clothing, maybe it was worth a shot. Instead of freelancing on nights and weekends I started working on a business plan for my idea and got so excited about it I just had to give that a try. You know, young, naive and having nothing to lose.
In March 2013 I quit my job at the RETIF store where I worked for three years to try to start Exclamation Point, bespoke streetwear. Custom casual clothing produced on demand for any unique individual. However after a year of full time research, workshops, talking to experts and developing different business plans and approaches I decided to shelf the idea. I was running out of money and I had to admit to myself it wasn't going to work out at this time. Still, it was an amazing experience and maybe one day I might pick this project back up.
To get back on my feet financially after this adventure I got a normal job again. In February 2014 I started working in the warehouse at Santens Metaalwaren, a large local hardware retailer. I worked in the warehouse for a little over a year while preparing to finally start my freelancing career. I spent a lot of my spare time that year brushing up on the new web design techniques, studying content strategy, improving my writing skills, learning the newest Adobe software and developing a solid business plan. The DSLR filmmaking revolution also did not go by unnoticed and I started learning how to use my photo camera to create moving images too.
I started my own business in May 2015. I helped local small businesses improve their online presence. I helped with creating content and offered technical support and training around web technology. After a few months my business was running strong and I can be proud of quite a few successful projects. Just one year later that chapter already ended again when my girlfriend and I decided to move in together and I ended up relocating to Switzerland.
Since April 2016 I live in Zürich. Starting up my freelance business again from scratch, this time in a new city without a network and with no knowledge of the local language, was not something I wanted to try. My first months in the country I taught Lindy Hop for Downtownswing dance school and I volunteered in the Hubonaut program at Impact Hub Zürich.
In August 2016 I started working full time for Kilchenmann AG as an AV Event Technician and Project leader working on corporate events, primarily at the Novartis and Roche campuses in Basel. I still occasionally do some freelance work as well.
Professionally relevant skills
Deep technical understanding. Mostly active in documentary and educational productions for use in content marketing, customer service and sales channels. Work with Canon, Premiere Pro and After Effects. Own an extensive set of professional gear.
Deep technical understanding. Can handle any subject and style. Mostly doing event and promotional assignments for use in communication and marketing. Work with Canon, Lightroom and Photoshop. Own an extensive set of professional gear.
A well crafted sentence is a thing of beauty. I enjoy writing easy to read content for websites, newsletters, social media, support documentation or educational materials. I also like writing scripts for audio or video productions.
Making sure the everyone is on the same page and that all collaborators are working towards the same goals is easier said than done. Over the years I learned how to communicate effectively, to be hyper organized, delegate sooner, collaborate often and everything always takes longer than you think.
I'm not the most talented illustrator/graphic designer, but I love organizing content into a beautifully balanced layout. When I do venture into graphical territory I like to do vector work in Illustrator and manipulate pixels in Photoshop. And however my medium of choice is digital, in case something needs to go to print my software of choice would be InDesign.
Fluent in Dutch and English. I also speak French but it needs some brushing up. In German I understand close to everything, speaking and writing is getting better every day. I also understand quite a bit of Schwiizerdütsch by now and can impress the locals with a few sentences left and right.
I look forward to hearing back from you!