Why did you choose a career in the languages industry?
I think it chose me rather than the other way around! Modern languages had been my favourite subjects at school, and so I pursued that at university too. But spending four years studying German and Italian still left me no closer to knowing what exactly I wanted to do. Just by chance I saw an ad in the paper for a project management position at STAR, and hoped that it would be an opportunity to combine language with an over-enthusiasm for organisation! I tentatively applied and had my first ‘proper’ job just six weeks after I finished my degree. And I’ve been here ever since!
What is your role at STAR?
My official title is Head of Operations, which is code for “doing a lot of planning and juggling”. I oversee the project managers and translators but my day also includes managing my own clients – it’s the part that I love most about the job. It’s gratifying to work with great people (both clients and linguists) and to be able to see a job through from start to finish.
What skills do you think are important for anyone wanting to be a successful project manager?
A love of organisation and list-making, an ability to juggle, calmness under pressure and, probably the biggest one for me, a healthy dose of common sense. I find that the latter will get you through pretty much anything – if you have a problem, ask for help; if you don’t know the answer, find someone who does; and if you see a way to make someone else’s day run a bit more smoothly, do it!
If you were stranded on a desert island, which colleague would you want with you?
If I had to pick just one, I’d say Alice. She’s pretty unflappable in a crisis, comes with bags of common sense and would come fully equipped with her excellent beach chic dress sense.