Silke Zschweigert knew she loved languages from an early age. In prepatory school, she studied Dutch, French, English, German, and Spanish.
“I love communication,” she says. “I also love traveling, and if you want to communicate globally, you need languages. I'm a very extroverted person who likes to be with other people.”
That love of language and communication took her from Hoger Instituut voor Vertalers en Tolken (Higher Institute for Translators and Interpreters) in Antwerp, Belgium, where she got her Master’s degree in Translation for Dutch, English, German, and Chinese, to China, where she spent 6 months at the Jiaotong University in Xian to improve her Chinese proficiency whilst teaching English to Chinese Engineers. She loved China so much that she extended her visit by another 6 months to guide Belgian tourists all across this fascinating country. In 1999, she relocated to Stuttgart, Germany and took a position with SDL.
“I started as a project manager with the objective of staying for one year,” she says. “Here I am 17 years later!”
“My role in SDL as Chief Delivery Officer is all about making sure that everyone contributes and engages in delighting the customer. This happens by ensuring that we have the best processes and systems in place but the biggest contributors are the people in SDL. I love meeting people when I visit all the offices – it is so refreshing to see and feel the enthusiasm of the talented and motivated people within the SDL family across the globe”, she said. “I also appreciate hearing from the field about what works well and what we can improve. This helps me to stay connected and that is really key to success in my view”.
And it’s that love for other people that’s kept her at SDL. “Here it's all about working together,” she says. “Being ambitious, wanting to achieve a goal but wanting to do it as a team. I've seen different faces of SDL throughout the years. One thing that's constant is the people and the culture, which is all about having an international group of intelligent, ambitious, passionate people, who are also actually nice and fun to work with.”