Colleagues interviewed: Stelina Karkalemi, Legal Advisor

1. You are a lawyer working for MindTake. What does your work consist of, and what exactly is your title?

As legal advisor for the MindTake group, I consult the company in all legal aspects of its everyday operations. In the last year my work has focused on regulatory compliance, notably streamlining our practices with the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation. It’s been busy, but an exciting challenge. My workload aside, it also makes sense to me as a consumer: I firmly believe that good laws are also good for business.

2. What is exciting and what is challenging in your day-to-day work?

Law has a bit of a bad reputation as a ‘dusty’ discipline – but there is nothing slow or boring about it when you practice law in an area like digital, that changes so rapidly with the huge and constant advances in technology! So I would say that the most exciting and at the same time challenging thing about my job is applying my classical legal training and knowledge in an innovative, fast-paced environment – and keeping the constant flow of developments under control.

3. What drives you every day?

Law is evolving rapidly, and so is technology, so every day I have to face new challenges and be involved in something new. It helps that I get to work with a team of amazing colleagues and friends who bring a totally different educational and work background to the table,  from design to marketing and programming, and so also enriching my own perspectives.

4. Let's assume for a moment you wouldn't be a lawyer at MindTake, what would you dream of doing?

I am passionate about travel and cultural exchange, and I am also a diplomat by nature, so I would have joined the diplomatic corps to become an ambassador. I imagine that living in different countries and representing your country’s cultural, social, political and economic interests would be fascinating – I also would not say no to some espionage excitement on the side!

5. What have you done before joining MindTake?

I worked as an Associate in an Athens law firm specializing in commercial, employment and data protection legislation. I also did independent legal consulting on start-up companies and firms involved in the digital environment, advising on issues related to my expertise in Technology, Intellectual Property and Privacy law. 

6. Tell us a little bit about your education.

I have a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Athens, with a year studying in Paris, followed by an LL.M in Internet Law from the University of Essex. I have also received extensive training in e-Privacy and Data protection legislation. 

7. What is your favourite book and your favourite movie?

I am a huge crime novel fan, currently going through some amazing Scandinavian crime writers, and also following several ‘true crime’ podcasts.  I was already hooked on Agatha Christie books as a kid and the fascination never wore off – maybe it  even influenced me towards a law career! Although I am more a fan of TV shows than of movies, I am not ashamed to say I have watched the musical Evita a dozen times – one day I might sing the entire thing in the office.

8. What do you do outside of work? Any hobbies?

There’s not been a lot of free time in my life recently, but I generally enjoy quality TV shows, reading and listening to podcasts, going out with friends in Athens and Vienna, and organizing trips to new and exciting destinations. I recently travelled to Sweden, so now I am looking forward to exploring  the rest of that region – not least because of my love for Scandinavian crime fiction!

9. What does happiness mean to you?

My idea of happiness involves a good work-life balance: productive and  worthwhile work, spending time with family and friends, travelling, and a decadent chocolate dessert at least once a week.

10. What gift or talent would you like to be blessed with?

As a lawyer, I think a useful talent would be to know when people are hiding things! (laughs). But my crime-fighting instincts aside, I would happily pick something artistic -- like design and handicraft skills especially in fashion and interior design, so I could decorate my flat and make my own unique accessories!