My name is Mairi (pronounce it, ‘marry,’ and you’ll be close enough). It’s a curious name for a copywriter living in Austria, but let me explain.
I’m originally from the rain and wind of the east coast of Scotland. I spent my last five years in the UK living and studying in St Andrews where I completed my MA in English Literature. I dabbled in Film, Philosophy and Biblical Studies, but ultimately nothing else was as much fun as reading classics beside a window which looked out onto the ruins of a medieval castle. Can you blame me?
If you work in a town like St Andrews, the hospitality sector is going to find you in the end. I worked everywhere from pot wash to reception, finally spending a year as the marketing manager of a hotel a few hundred meters from the Old Course.
In 2014, it was time for a change of scene. I got a CELTA teaching qualification, moved to Vienna, and got to know an entirely different way of life. I started off on my journey to learn German and settled into life teaching English as a foreign language.
It wasn’t long before I learned that teaching meant more than the contents of my ‘Practical English Usage’ handbook. I was there to help people make themselves understood in their new language, to help them get through the same crises of confidence I was experiencing as I tried to navigate my new city, and to be able to communicate in a way which made them feel like themselves, just in a cool new language. This is a lesson which is still important to me in my copywriting work.
Since 2014, I’ve taught in a whole variety of settings, from tiny kids learning nursery rhymes in their second (or third, or fourth) language, to adults ready to enter the world of working in English in the technical field. But I haven’t stopped writing either. I took my experience of tourism marketing and copywriting and applied it to all sorts of new projects. I now help Austrian businesses, charities and individuals to create and present content which reads clearly and elegantly in English in order to set them apart.
When I’m not poring over and polishing texts, I’m writing my own, nose deep in a good book, or up to my elbows in home baking.
By the way, I tweet at @ViennaCopy