Today we are meeting up with Alexandra Arenz, a long-term team member at EHLION! Alex will talk about her evolving career at EHLION, her experience with sourcing the best linguists in the industry and the importance of continuous improvement for all EHLION employees and subcontractors!
Alex, how long have you been collaborating with EHLION?
I started collaborating with EHLION mid-2012, shortly after EHLION was founded.
How were the first few days in the company, what position did you hold?
I started as a Project Manager. Those were very exciting days! I was very happy to be part of this new company with an inspiring vision.
How has your role evolved over time? And which position do you hold now?
First I was a Project Manager, then a Senior Project Manager, and after that I became the Head of the PM Team and Assistant to the CEO. After a few months sabbatical in 2017, I returned as a Resource and Administrative Manager.
How different would you say the language industry is today from the time you first stepped foot into it? Would you say it changed for the better?
I started out in the language industry in 2010 after the completion of my translation studies. Technology has advanced tremendously over the last 10 years and really accelerated in the last 5 years! I believe we have exciting times ahead of us in that regard. Another thing that has changed is turnaround times. The translation industry became a very fast-paced industry in every aspect. I wouldn’t label it better or worse, as I think change is the only constant in life in general and that truly reflects in our exciting industry!
As a former Project Manager, what tips would you give to our readers looking to start a career in project management?
Keep your calm! Project Management can be very multi-dimensional and fast-paced. Do one thing at a time. It’s an exciting role that certainly doesn’t get boring. Another tip is: always see things from the perspective of the client.
How would you describe your current role?
I’m currently wearing two hats. As Resource Manager I am responsible for recruiting new talent, as well as continuously training our employees, linguists and other language specialists. In my role as Administrative Manager, I am mainly responsible for IT, including keeping it up-to date and continuously tweaking and improving our systems.
What steps do you take to ensure that only the best linguists make it onboard the EHLION team?
In more than ten years in the translation industry I have developed some sort of a sixth sense! Of course, I thoroughly check applicants’ experience, education, and references. A lot can be read between the lines. Over the last few years, the number of ‘translator scammers’, i.e. people who steal CVs or use fake identities, has increased a lot so it’s important for me to watch out for that. Since EHLION is an ISO 17100-certified company, the linguists that we recruit need to fulfill all the criteria, whilst it also guarantees accurate translations and of course, client satisfaction
How important is continuous improvement for both translators and project managers?
I think it’s essential in an ever evolving, ever changing industry. Those who don’t keep up by continuously learning, will be left behind! Continuous improvement gives us the opportunity to learn and adapt to current trends, making us experts in what we do, something which clients always expect from an LSP
How do you decide which training sessions are provided to the team?
I keep up with current developments in the industry. I also keep my eyes and ears open to see where there are ‘gaps’ that need to be filled. Training sessions can vary from process-related to customer care, to different organization methods. This makes our team qualified to tackle any projects entrusted to EHLION!
Alex, thank you for your time today! One last question from us! How do you envision the language industry to evolve in the future? Will it keep the same level of importance as it does now?
Well, I believe it will keep changing and evolving. Machine translation and AI will continue to improve and that will open up new opportunities. Not as a replacement for the human translator, (I don’t think that will ever happen), but as a tool to create a different approach to translation and potentially faster turnaround times. I also think that, with the world becoming more and more connected digitally, there will be a growing demand for translation in ‘exotic’ languages. I’m excited for what’s to come!!