Why did you choose a career in the languages industry?
Growing up in a bilingual family definitely sparked my interest in languages at a young age; it seemed like a no-brainer to take up as many languages as possible when I had the first opportunity at school (although, like most, I drew the line at GCSE Latin)! Since then, I’ve attempted to picked up Italian, Dutch, Norwegian and Portuguese (all with varying degrees of success!) To me, learning languages is like deciphering a code into another person’s culture. There’s no better feeling than having your hard work pay off – when you’ve been able to have a simple conversation with someone in another country, or even when you’ve put down a novel in another language and realised you didn’t have to look up any words to enjoy it.
How did you end up at STAR?
My first experience of translation (aside from my role as unofficial interpreter during family holidays in Spain!) was during my BA – there was so much more involved in the process than I had realised and I found it fascinating. During my Translation MA, the translation role that most caught my interest was that of Project Manager. I had always assumed that I would come out of the degree ready and eager to start a career as a freelance translator, but after leading a few volunteer student projects I found that project management really appealed to my love of organisation and planning. As soon as I graduated, I went on the hunt for a PM role in a company that would suit me – STAR was recommended to me by a friend from my undergraduate degree who worked on the in-house translation team and I haven’t been disappointed!
What’s it like to work at STAR?
I love that our UK branch has such a diverse portfolio that you can work on a range of different tasks within one working day – you might be putting on your creative hat to help the translators come up with a catchy marketing slogan, finding the perfect freelancer to fit your project, or doing administrative tasks such as updating dictionaries or handling invoices. This makes the life of a PM very interesting – there’s always something new to learn or a new challenge to tackle.
Calmest colleague under pressure?
Karen is undeniably the queen of cool when it comes to juggling multiple tasks at once – an essential skill for a project manager! 14 years of planning the daily schedules of every one of our in-house translators has made her officially unflappable – her little desk nook by the window is the most chilled-out place in the office!