NAME: Ilona Seidel-Jerey
BACKGROUND: University Degree
My Background and Career
I have been self employed since the year 2000
In 1990 I began a Translation and Interpreting course at the Department of Translation at Graz University, Austria (French / Hungarian) and completed my studies in both languages following stays abroad in France and Hungary in 1997. During my studies I was able to gain work experience as a freelance translator and interpreter for French.
In 1996, out of pure interest, I began to learn Austrian sign language as an extra subject by attending every seminar possible on the subject.
Chances and opportunities:
I had the chance to take part in the EU Project "Horizon employment project II - advanced training for Austrian sign language interpreters" and was one of the first people to be able to complete their studies with a state examination from the ÖGSDV (Austrian sign language interpreters association).
A major milestone in my work as an Austrian sign language interpreter was the fact that in 2005, Austrian sign language was officially recognised as a language.
The fact that I had 3 children within a short space of time also had an influence on my career development. I was able to take the opportunity to stay in Styria and concentrate on Austrian sign language rather than having to travel to events and congresses for several days at time as I would have had to with French / Hungarian.
In financial terms, I have "lived from hand to mouth" for many years- to the horror of my tax adviser. To support the family, it was necessary that my partner had a stable income flow. Being self employed also means that a large network of helpers for childcare is necessary, particularly when the children are sick.
Continuous training is also necessary, both professionally and on a personal level, also in matters of business administration (tax / legal matters).
Language skills, expertise in other countries in a cultural context, professionalism, teamwork, stress management, flexibility, interpersonal skills, good general and personal development as well as a degree of perseverance are all important.