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Zincster of the month: Dafne
- abr. 2019 -

We hear from Operations Manager, Dafne Manzano, about her role and life at Zinc

What do you do and how long have you been at Zinc?

I started working at Zinc in November of 2015. Today, I am part of the leadership team as Operations Manager but I'd say that the role has evolved a lot over the time. My role requires me to oversee a lot of aspects of how the company is running, covering accounting, finance, Human resources and office management and help with project management. Like everyone at Zinc, I do a little bit of everything. 

What did you do before Zinc?

Prior to Zinc, I was working in hospitality for a while because I studied Hotel Management here in Barcelona. After that, I decided to take a post graduate course and then set out to travel the world for a few months and when I finally got back to Barcelona I needed to find a job.
I had a checklist for the type of job I was looking for; firstly, it had to be a small but growing company. Second, I wanted the founders to come from outside Spain. And finally, that the company was doing something creative. After searching for a while and learning more about the company, I had the feeling that Zinc had the perfect blend of these elements as a boutique design and innovation consultancy.

It sounds like you do a little of everything at the office. How do you balance all that load?

Usually, there is no fixed structure for my tasks, so when I arrive in the morning I get to see what I have to do and based on that I figure out how to approach my day. As a practice, I break down all the tasks I have and evaluate the priority of each one. I built my role by seeing what was needed each time and being proactive when I can.
Like with any problem, I deal with it little by little, fragmenting the problem into little fires and putting them out. 

What would you say are the skills you have sharpened while working here?

Patience! Even though I have always been a very patient person, I tend to handle a lot of things internally – calm on the outside but a flurry of emotions on the inside. With all the situations I have encountered here at Zinc, I’ve learned to be calm in the middle of a very stressful situation, both inside and outside.
Dealing with people would be a close second. My role lets me act as a bridge between the Founders and the team. On one side, I have to make sure things run smoothly between the team and making sure to take care of all the people but also looking out for the best interests of the business. I learned to walk the fine line between these two aspects of my role.

What aspects of your role do you enjoy the most? 

The fact that every day is different. What I mean is I can do my own role and shape it over time. I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do because I know what I have to do and get the support of others when I need it. I like being proactive and being able to propose ideas and be involved in projects even if the scope is out of my role, unlike in bigger businesses where there are established structures and hierarchies and you don’t have the same freedom and flexibility. 

Secondly, because I am learning new things everyday; all this technology and innovation– things I would never imagine myself learning about.
After three and a half years, I am still amazed that we do what we do. Products we created like Ibreve, Jem and Lekue! Especially now that I've gone through the entire process of creating a product; Starting from a little idea - or even just starting with a first email - to seeing the end product or service; seeing this evolution is really fascinating and it motivates me a lot to think what are we going to create today!

Finally, what were the more inspirational moments in Zinc and what makes you connect a lot with the people here?

I would say it's not a moment but more an ongoing process. At the beginning, we had BBQ´s, Happy Hours and Zincster activities since we were also establishing ourselves as a team and I believe doing those activities more and more over time helped bring us closer and shape us into the team we are today. 

In the beginning, I had a few responsibilities and I wasn’t so attached to the company but as my role evolved, I started taking on more responsibilities and working more closely with people in the team and this has brought me closer to Zinc. By making Zinc a bigger part of my life, it has helped me feel like more part of the team – I took ownership over my role and Zinc became the second family I grew to know and love, especially since I've spent half of my twenties here! 

And now I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for our family and our studio!

What's up, Zinc?