A day in the life of an IT Project Manager

The scope of career opportunities available in the Languages Services industry extend further than just translating and interpreting roles and these roles are critical to the effective running of any Language Service Provider (LSP).

The next in our series of blogs on careers within the Language Services industry focuses on IT Project Management. Katya Popova, an IT Project Manager (PM), shares with us her story on how she became a PM and what she likes about her role. 

Describe what you do on a day-to-day basis?

An IT Project Manager is not what you immediately think of when you hear “Translation Company”. When I explain to others from outside the industry what I do for a living – most people usually assume that because I work for a translation company I must be a translator.

As part of the IT department I am involved in the management of development projects for new software functionality and gathering business requirements. I coordinate between development resources and stakeholders, and plan every aspect of a project to make sure everything goes smoothly and is delivered on time. It can be quite interesting when new things come up just after you thought that particular part was already clarified and completed. Development projects usually take much longer than normal translation projects so you don’t get to see the result of your work that quickly. As with any Project Management role – it can be demanding, but it’s also very creative, and I find it a satisfying job.

How did you become an IT Project Manager/describe your journey through the industry?

I studied International Relations at university, but after graduating I decided to try something different. After working in a couple of other industries I joined the Capita Translation and Interpreting (Capita TI) Bulgarian office in 2009 and began my journey as a PM. I quickly moved up the ranks to become a Senior PM, before becoming a Service Delivery Manager. I moved to the UK in 2013 and shifted to the “dark side”, a.k.a. IT.

What are the most challenging aspects of your job and why?

You have to work with a lot of different people from various departments; both internally and externally. You often require their help in order to do your job, and these people have their own jobs to do, so getting what you need from them may be difficult as they have to find the time for you. You will have to charm, beg and plead with them to get your requirements prioritised! Also, once you’ve charmed them it may turn out that you have the wrong person anyway – and when this happens – you need to take a deep breath and start again! You also need to be really sure that the end result is actually what the client asked for.

What are your favourite aspects of your job and why?

For me, the most enjoyment comes from the personal satisfaction of a job well done – especially when you see the end result. This is important in any job I do. I am also one of only two girls in a predominantly male team, and convincing the guys that fruit and vegetables are not poisonous brings some added satisfaction.

What advice would you give to newcomers in the industry?

Always be on top of things, be (very) patient and creative, communicate as much as possible, double-check if in doubt and eat an apple a day. Or a pineapple if you need reinforcements!

What would you do if you weren’t a Project Manager?

That’s easy; I would be a Wedding Planner! It is kind of like Project Management, only the projects are even more fun and you can’t really move the deadline, can you?!

If you would like to find out more about a career as an IT Project Manager, or in the Language Services industry in general, contact marketing@capita-ti.com. In the meantime why not visit our website to find out how we can help you with all your language requirements.

 

Kate

Katya is a Bulgarian working in the UK trying to get used to the "lovely" Manchester weather. She has been with Capita TI for five and half years in various positions. A Project Manager in the IT department during the day and a hunter of travel deals at night! She enjoys traveling, music festivals and the odd book shopping spree.



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