We continue our series of graduate profiles today by catching up with Natalie Leeb, who took German at Liverpool and graduated in 2005.
After graduating I returned to Wiener Neustadt, Lower Austria, where I spent my year abroad as a language assistant. I really enjoyed the lifestyle and I actually spent almost another 2 years there before returning to the UK for family reasons.
I have been working at AVA CAD/CAM in Macclesfield, Cheshire, since 2008, where language skills are highly regarded by management due to our worldwide customer base. AVA is a successful British software company who have been providing specialist design and colour software, support, training and technical consultancy services to the decorative printing industry for more than 25 years.
Areas of particular focus for AVA include printed textiles for home furnishing, fashion and apparel, wall coverings and floor coverings in Germany and all over the world, so I get to use my German language skills on a daily basis, from providing technical assistance over the phone to onsite one-to-one customer training.
Not only has a degree in a foreign language propelled my career, but I also met my husband on my year abroad all those many moons ago. We now have a 1-year-old son who we are bringing up to be bilingual. Although I might not be doing as much travel as I did before becoming a mum, using my German is a hugely important part of my job which I love and I feel lucky and proud to say that I studied at the University of Liverpool. I still have contact with my old lecturers and I always let them know when my company is on the lookout for some fresh linguistic talent. I think it is fair to say that if you can learn a language, you can turn your hand to most things. Our chief executive is a linguist himself and he believes that the very nature of studying a language proves you can put your mind to almost any task, persevere and commit to lifelong learning because languages change all the time and you are always adding to your linguistic knowledge.
Having a degree in a foreign language was without a doubt the reason why I was chosen to work for AVA and I have been extremely lucky to have travelled the world, training customers in USA, China, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Mexico and most of Europe. I even once trained a Chinese designer in Beijing in German!