Want an insider’s look into what it’s like to work for one of the world’s leading education technology companies? We’ve got you covered. In our Extraordinary Employee series, ProQuest dives into the lives of our colleagues, asking them how they joined ProQuest, what they do, and what makes ProQuest such a unique and rewarding place to work.
Today, we interviewed Silvia Torres, Account Manager.
What do you do at Ex Libris?
I am an Account Manager for Spain.
Why is the work you do so important to our customers?
As an Account Manager, my job is to make sure that clients know about us. In other words, if they have the need for any new services or if they want to improve any of their processes, then we can help them and offer a solution. I think the most important aspect of my job is that I often serve as a bridge or even an interpreter between clients, their plans and our specialists and solutions. This means I really need to make sure I’m up to date, as much with trends in the sector as with our technological solutions.
What’s your professional background – anything interesting or unique to share?
I’ve always tended towards The Humanities – I started studying philology and ended up with my primary degree in History of Art until I later got the “library and documentation bug”. Ever since I was little, I felt that libraries and archives were in my blood and I always liked the idea of becoming an “archaeological documentalist”! In the past I was lucky enough to participate in projects that documented things as disparate as a medieval castle or a painting that was supposedly attributed to Picasso and it was on these projects that I discovered the value of knowing the appropriate sources to document, know the libraries and their contents and communicate with the librarian, so they could help me in my investigation. I also worked in some libraries and as you can see, I’ve been a library “power user”!
What motivated you to get into your current field?
I’ve always liked all sorts of libraries! Public libraries because they have a unique role for the population and because they give society in general a level playing field with access to knowledge. Specialized or academic libraries because they light the spark of investigation (at every level, not just scientific). When I finished my History of Art degree, I worked for a period of time in the Historical Archive in Barcelona, where I currently live, and it was during my time there that I decided that this is what I wanted to do with my life and I went back to university.
My first “long and serious” job, however, wasn’t as a librarian but as an Aleph Technician! It was then that I discovered that there were many different ways of working with libraries and they were all equally as interesting.
What brought you to Ex Libris? What’s one thing that surprised you about working here?
It was actually completely by chance! I was looking for a job and I saw an offer where they were looking for someone with experience in libraries – back then I started working for the company that was the distributor for Ex Libris products in Spain and when the distribution went back to Ex Libris directly, I stayed.
What do you like about working here – both the job itself and the rewards/benefits?
I love to be up-to-date with the latest trends, I’d like to think we’re innovators, that we have a clear vision of the future and that we’re always inventing the next big thing.
At the same time, I love speaking to my colleagues from different countries, I learn a lot from them and they give me a very different view of the world and life in general. My job also allows me to have the perfect work-life balance, doing what I love at work, with a rewarding personal life.
What are your ultimate career aspirations?
I don’t have any big plans at the moment, I adapt quickly (to everything) and I’m open to proposals.
What other fun and interesting things do you enjoy doing? Have you found anyone at Ex Libris that shares your interest?
I love to go out to the mountains to walk. I started going as a way to relax and do moderate exercise and now it almost forms a part of my daily routine! At the moment I’m into hiking, but I’d like to start climbing mountains. Unfortunately, the Ex Libris team in Barcelona is limited so I do it alone.