Following on from the popularity of our last blog post featuring our Deputy Production Manager, Hannah, we thought we’d again take a similar approach and interview one of our newest members of staff, Rebecca, who joined us as a Translation Project Manager in January 2017.
Whilst our team generally finds itself on a continuous learning process, Rebecca has now completed her first three months at Parallel; these are the most intense in terms of training and acquiring knowledge about how the company works, our processes, our clients and, of course, our translators. We caught up with her to see how she’s been getting on:
Hi Becky! Thank you for agreeing to take part in this little interview for our blog. First of all, could I ask you to introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your life prior to joining our team? What did you study at university?
Hello! I’m originally from Wiltshire, and I first did a BA in French and Spanish at Cardiff University before moving to the University of Bath to do a MA in Translation and Professional Language Skills, concentrating on German and Spanish.
Where did you spend your year abroad? Do you have a favourite language out of the ones you have studied?
I had the opportunity to split my year abroad in two, spending five months in Lima, Peru and the next five in Strasbourg, France, which were both excellent experiences, and it was really interesting getting to live in two such different countries. It’s hard to choose my favourite language, but potentially Spanish, because it’s such a fun language and I have such good memories of my Spanish experiences.
How did you find out about Parallel and what was it that made you apply to work with us?
I was looking online for jobs with translation agencies around this area, and the clear layout of the website definitely stuck out for me, while the job description covered exactly what I wanted to do! It seemed like the perfect opportunity to keep on using my language skills, while also having the opportunity to learn more languages. It looked like such a friendly place to work too!
What was the interview process like?
It was very thorough! Paul [our Operations Manager] explained everything about the Project Manager interview process, the proofreading test and the second interview. As part of the process, it was lovely having the chance to have a quick look at how everything works at Parallel during a chat with Nick [our Production Manager].
Can you tell us a little about your first few days at Parallel?
As with any new job, it was a little overwhelming at first, but I started slowly, building up my knowledge of all the procedures for checking, along with getting to know everyone in the office and how things work on the administrative side.
How did you find settling in with the team, in a new city?
Everyone was very friendly so it was easy to settle into the office, and the cinema trips were a good way to get to know West Quay. Southampton reminds me a lot of Cardiff in some ways, apart from the lack of Welsh on the signs, so there was a nice sense of familiarity when moving here.
What has your training been like over the past few months? What have you covered so far?
The training has been really thorough and I’ve covered a lot in such a short time, it feels! I have gradually been building upon previous work, going from multi-document to multi-language projects, and then branching out into quoting languages such as Korean and Thai. The first month was essentially a lot of direct management and guidance under Laura, our Business Manager, with regular reviews on how I was finding everything. The last couple of months have seen me being a bit more independent, but we still have regular catch-ups, discussing the new projects that I’ve been managing or any interesting points that have popped up while checking.
What has been the best moment for you at Parallel (or in Southampton) so far? And, dare we ask, the worst…?
I suppose work-wise, the best moment was being able to send off my first project that I had more or less completed by myself (along with some input from the others)! The worst part is probably all the sirens in the city! Having been in the rural countryside for a while, it really was a bit of a shock to have sirens suddenly start up right outside the office in the city centre.
Most importantly, are you enjoying your new role as a Project Manager at Parallel?
I really am! It’s challenging for sure, but it livens the day up when you’re switching between checking and quoting, and then going back to check a completely different type of document or language. It’s a really nice and supportive environment at Parallel and Southampton is turning out to be a very nice city.
Thank you so much for your time and good luck with your ongoing training programme!
If you are interested in joining our team, we are currently looking for our next intake of Graduate Project Managers. Ideally you will have studied three non-native languages to degree level and be available to start in July 2017. Please direct all applications via our “In-House Application” form.