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Our Tempo Folio Marketing Manager: I like the laid back atmosphere and the creativity in tech

This is part of our initiative featuring the women of Tempo, where we tell their stories and learn more about the paths that have led them to where they are now, and to see what they think about the future of tech — and for women in tech, generally.

I hope to one day see just as many women interested in tech and other male-dominated interests and industries as men. Once that happens, they should have equal opportunity and those industries won't be male-dominated anymore.

It’s been a while since we introduced a woman of Tempo so here’s Marta Schluneger, one of our talented and hard-working Product Marketing Managers. Marta comes all the way from Oklahoma and is known for her bubbly laughter, drawings, and her fascinating love of llamas here at Tempo. After having strolled through the hills of Switzerland for many years, she now likes to climb the many peaks of Iceland with her dog, and sometimes Tempo’s ever-growing hiking group. Let’s get to know Marta a little bit better.

me and loki

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m Marta Schluneger and am 32 years old and live with my boyfriend and dog. I'm a Product Marketing Manager at Tempo. I am originally from the US, but I moved to Switzerland with my family when I was 16, where they still live.

Previous experience (study and career path) and how you ended up at Tempo?

I did a double bachelor degree in English Literature and German mainly because I liked to read and write and thought at the time that I wanted to be a literature professor, some kind of writer, or maybe a teacher. After that I did my Masters in Medieval and Early Modern English literature for the same reasons, I was always a bit obsessed with Chaucer. After finishing my degree I decided to backpack through China where I played pool with an Icelandic boy, who ended up becoming my partner. We then ran off to China for a while where I taught English.

My transition into tech runs pretty much parallel to me moving to Iceland. When I came here, the only work experience I really had was various student jobs, teaching English, and working during off times for my Dad, who trades drilling equipment. I guess the combination of knowing a little bit about energy, knowing how to write, and coincidence got me a job working in marketing for a local startup company developing energy management solutions.

When it came time for me to move on to something new, it only made sense for me to continue to work in tech, since I like creativity, innovation, and a fast paced work environment. In short, that's how I ended up here at Tempo.

What are your interests and what do you do for fun?

I have always been interested in the arts in general, literature, art, music etc. I've played cello since I was 3, although I haven't really kept up with it much in my adulthood. I draw a lot and sometimes paint, but I don't like cleaning up from painting, so I stick mostly to drawing. I'm also really into fitness and the outdoors. I enjoy running and hiking with my dog, lifting, and doing various group fitness classes at the gym. I also love horseback riding and used to do competitive jumping, but they don't have proper sized horses here in Iceland ;).

fighting myself

What did you want to be when you were younger?

Lots of things, but the things that stick out the most in my mind are: large animal veterinarian, concert cellist, artist, photographer, professor.

What was your first job?

Babysitting, but my first steady paycheck came from working in the kitchen of my university cafeteria.

I never made a conscious decision to work in tech. It sort of just happened when I moved to Iceland, but I'm glad it happened and I feel at home in this environment.

What were your earliest interactions (memories) with technology?

Probably when we got our first Nintendo when I was about 4 and watching my dad try and set it up. I remember he couldn't figure it out at first and different colors flashed across the TV screen (maybe some of you remember that). I still think Super Mario Brothers is the best game ever created.

What is your favorite part about working in IT?

I like the laid back atmosphere and the creativity and the fact that the industry is so fast paced, it keeps you on your toes and forces you to push yourself and always learn more. I also love that tech companies seem to be leading the way and setting the stage for a more modern and flexible work culture.

What is an average workday like for you?

When I get to work, I usually first get a coffee (very important) and then take a look at my calendar and see if I have any meetings. The work for the day varies depending on what's going on at the time. In general I spend most of my time planning, writing, and promoting content for blogs, e-mails, website etc., and working on the general messaging for Tempo Folio, and creating videos.

What is your favorite thing about your career?

It's never boring.

Overall, how do you think things are for women working in tech right now?

I think they're good. If anything they're great, because more and more women are interested in technology these days, so there is more of a support system. Not only that, but tech companies tend to consist of young and innovative teams that tend not to be very discriminative.

me and Snorri

What has been your biggest challenge as a woman in tech?

To be completely honest, I'm not sure that any of the challenges I've faced since starting my career have really had anything to do with my gender or the industry I work in.

Aside from technical skills, what other skills do you feel are important to have if a woman is interested in working in technology?

Hard working, creative, confident, humble, respectful, good communication skills, and supportive; essentially the same skills that anyone working in any industry should have.

What advice would you give to others interested in pursuing a career in tech?

If you want to do it, do it; it's really as simple as that.

How do you see the future of women in tech?

I hope to one day see just as many women interested in tech and other male-dominated interests and industries as men. Once that happens, they should have equal opportunity and those industries won't be male-dominated anymore.

I believe, however, that this is not something that can be solved by government and HR policies, but is a deep cultural issue. Forcing a company to have 50% of hires be women when the female workforce interested in said job is only 10%, is like putting a bandaid on a broken leg.

The best part of waking up is?

Seeing my dog’s wet nose 2 cm from my face, because he heard my alarm go off. And of course getting to live another day and push myself to do things I didn't think I could and all that sappy stuff.

an artsy picture of me

Thank you Marta for allowing us to take a look into your life in tech. Stay tuned for more from inspiring stories from the women of Tempo!

Read more in our Women of Tempo series here.