Get to know Niels (sounds like “kneels”) Toft. Now a lead UX designer, Niels joined the Charlotte office in early 2011 as a graphic designer and UI designer.
1. What five words best describe you at work?
As a Dane, I have a hard time with this – I grew up understanding that these types of description should come from other people not from me. Still, some of the words resulting from Strengthsfinder and other survey results really resonate with me – connected, curious, collaborator, interpretive, and mediator. If I am in a meeting and am able to take opposing thoughts and find a satisfactory compromise, it makes my day!
2. What do you do to relax?
My escape is music –both playing (guitar and bass) and listening. Right now, I particularly enjoy world music, jazz and classical.
3. What’s your favorite book or movie?
I’m still looking for my favorite book or movie. But when it comes to sheer entertainment, I enjoy The Lord of the Rings films and the Thor movies. Thor is particularly fun because I grew up listening to these stories and was steeped in Norse mythology as a child. Coincidentally, my niece/god daughter is named Thora - the feminine version of Thor, and my brother’s name, Troels, is also a derivative of Thor, the God of Thunder.
4. What are people surprised to learn about you?
After my responses to the earlier questions, it may no longer be very surprising that I grew in the countryside in Denmark. I came to the U.S. in 2005 and became a citizen about a month ago. One other thing that tends to surprise people is that, like most Danes, I have a basic understanding of several languages – including Swedish, Norwegian, German and French – and am fluent in Danish and English.
5. What advice would you give a new TKXS employee?
I think a lot of people have answered similarly, but it is true – there is a general attitude of people wanting to learn and teach here. This is a collaborative environment. People want to invest in you. They’ll share their knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask.