Meet the team – Simona

Simona joins our Inside Sales team, supporting the Business Development team, helping businesses to identify and address their localisation needs. Simona initially joined Capita TI as an intern – in this blog she discusses how she made the transition, and what she’s learnt so far.

Why did you apply for an internship with Capita TI?

After graduating with a degree in Interpreting and Communication from IULM University (Milan) in July, I was unsure whether to pursue with a Conference Interpreting Masters, or with a business related subject. I thought that doing an internship would help me to figure out which career path is right for me. So what could have been better than a sales internship at a language service provider?!

I then chose Capita TI in particular for its position, near one of the most attractive and vibrant cities in the UK (Manchester), and for its internship opportunities.

Not only have I learnt more about the industry I’ve studied for all my life, but I’ve also gained new key skills. My internship has given me so much and it has broadened my opportunities and aspirations.

What attracted you to a Sales role at Capita TI?

During the past 3 years, while studying, I was working as a liaison interpreter at trade fairs in Milan. I helped sales managers selling their services/products to international clients. That’s when I first thought that maybe a career in sales would have been different and exciting, other than being an interpreter or a translator. Engaging with clients, travelling, and doing business are some of the reasons why I chose to join the Sales team. In particular, I chose this role because being a language service provider, it links two of my biggest passions – languages and the sales side that I recently had been attracted to.

Because I am very passionate about languages and localisation, I thought I could easily transfer the importance of it to the people I talk to.

What is your background?

I have spoken English and Italian since I was a child, so I consider myself bilingual. Then, in high school I began to study French and Spanish, and that’s where my passion for languages and other cultures really blossomed. The numerous school trips abroad made me want to expand and strengthen my language skills and encouraged me to apply for an Interpreting and Communication degree. While studying, I worked at many international events in Milan so I got the chance to put my language skills into practice, and to widen my knowledge and consciousness of other job careers or perspectives. I spent my second year of university in France to obtain a double degree at Université Mont Blanc- Savoie (BA in Langues, Lettres et Sciences Humaines). Although it was very hard to study with a different approach and in a different country, it pushed me to seek a new experience abroad after my studies.

Living in the UK is a multicultural experience itself and I’ve met so many people with different backgrounds. It’s like a melting pot – every day I learn something about Portugal, Germany, Sri Lanka, Lebanon and so on.

What do you find particularly challenging in this industry?

The language industry is a tricky industry. Not everyone realises the importance of languages and how this impacts people’s perceptions.

Whether a business sells an online product for retail or software to big businesses, the importance of translation is underrated. Nowadays, you might think that most people speak a quite good level of English, or at least understand it generally. But, even where this is true, if something is explained or written in your native language, then there’s a difference in how deep this will stay in your memory and will affect someone’s behaviour. Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”.

Another obstacle in this industry is the cost, effort and resource of becoming a translator. During my studies, I learnt that there’s so much more meaning behind words than you realise. Even a comma or a small word matters when you’re a translator. The challenge here is just because someone has an understanding or fluency in a foreign language, this doesn’t automatically imply that they can be a translator overnight; it takes years of training and experience.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I think I embody the perfect stereotype of a millennial: I am very optimistic and keen to seek success, and I want it quickly! Therefore, ten years from now seems a very long way away. I perhaps see myself in a good position with a big international company, possibly still dealing with languages, internationalisation and export. I hope to have travelled across all of the continents and met people who will have changed my life. I am very enthusiast about everything I do and I am very curious – I always try to say ‘yes’ to any good opportunity that comes up. I would like to be happy, but happiness is not a destination, it’s a journey!

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Languages and exploring are a big part of my life as I always have 1 or 2 tickets booked to some place and I speak two or even three different languages on a daily basis, whether at work or with friends and family!

Other than that, I like doing what people of my age usually do: my number one hobby is shopping, any kind, from grocery to house furniture to clothes. Even if I can’t still afford to buy anything, window shopping is always a good form of therapy which doesn’t make me feel guilty two hours later when I look at my bank account!

Besides languages and compulsive shopping, one of my biggest passions is food, but this doesn’t necessarily involve cooking. I spend hours browsing recipes and new ingredients, but most of the time I end up cheating with takeaways. I enjoy going out for meals and try new cuisines (but please do not take me to Italian restaurants outside Italy!).

Finally, I enjoy meeting friends and going out, doing activities or simply going to the cinema, listening to music, or watching a TV series for hours. Recently, I’ve joined the gym so I can proudly add it to my hobbies list!

Who inspires you?

I am lucky enough to say that most people who surround me are inspirational. Starting from my family, who are always caring and taught me the important values, to my colleagues who are there to encourage me working hard and getting my hands dirty to achieve success. I try to learn and take motivation from anything that could make me grow as a person from any experience I have. I like listening to stories and to other people’s points of view and opinions, so I can learn how to think and express myself in the same way.

Any funny language stories to share?

Being Italian and living in the UK, I always come across language quirks or misunderstandings, which, most of the time, turns into a funny moment. I often mishear song lyrics, for example “shadow of the day” from Linkin Park, I heard “shower of the day, and “Adored” from The Stone Roses – where I sang out loud “I wanna be a doll”!

A few days ago, my colleague asked me if I went to the gym two days running. I replied immediately saying “I don’t run, I only do classes!” and this generated laughs in the office.

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