Over the autumn and winter, the SOCLAS Blog will profile a number of graduates from the department, and catch up with them a couple of years or so after they have left the Cypress Building. This series starts with Paul Stairmand, who read French & Film Studies, and graduated i in 2009 with a first-class honours degree. Paul, who spent his year abroad as an English Language Assistant in Montélimar, now works as a translator and translation project manager at Language Box Ltd in Stalybridge, near Manchester.
Paul did not become a translator immediately on graduation; he notes “After I left the University, I took the first job I could get – an admin role at United Biscuits in Liverpool. Although I enjoyed my time there I wasn’t using my French as often as I’d hoped, and so I took the plunge to go back to university in 2010, to study for an MA in translating at Salford.” Paul is one a handful of CLAS graduates who every year go on to study for a higher degree in translation or interpreting. Studying for a second degree was not without its challenges, as Paul continues, “It was an intense, testing and financially tricky year, but I came out not only with an MA, but also a temporary project management position for Welocalize, a multinational translation company, at their office in Cheshire. That job gave me a lot of invaluable experience of the “real world” of the translation industry, which I’ve found to be a tremendous benefit in my current role.” With relevant work experience, Paul was then able to move on and up to Language Box Ltd, where he currently works. “Language Box is a small and fairly young company, and consequently I’m involved with a lot of different aspects of the business, from translating French documents into English to managing translation projects. I use French every single day, whether translating, doing market research, or speaking to clients and translation agencies. It’s the start of a big new opportunity for me, and it’s very exciting.” Paul very much enjoyed his degree at Liverpool, not least because it set him up for his career. As he says, “I wouldn’t be here without the language skills I developed in SOCLAS!”