Graduate profile: Vanessa Vander, BA French and Spanish

Name: Vanessa Vander

Course: BA (Hons) French and Spanish, 2002-2006

What are you doing now?
Operations Manager, Translation Services at Language Connect in London

What attracted you to your course, and to Kent?
I was attracted to attending a university close to home (I lived in Ashford, Kent at the time) and to the course. Languages degrees at Kent have always had a good reputation.

Which aspects of your degree did you enjoy the most, and why?
The final year where we focused more on translation and my year abroad was behind me (I’m such a homebody, the year abroad was a great experience but very hard at the time!)

What impressed you most about our academic staff?
They were friendly and relaxed yet professional and had a real passion for languages and learning themselves and this came across well.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now in your career?
Translation as I now work in the translation industry.

Are you still in touch with any of your fellow students?
Yes, one or two on social media.

Did you undertake any work experience whilst at Kent? What did you do? Did you find it was helpful in your studies and has it benefited your career to date?
On my year abroad I worked as an English language assistant in Spain. This really helped improve my Spanish actually and stepping up to become a role model for younger people, something that I still strive to do today.

Could you describe a typical day in your current role?
Checking emails, managing translation projects, helping team members with their workload and project management, assisting the sales team with queries, liaising with clients, interviewing new candidates during recruitment drives, compiling reports, meeting clients.

What are your future plans/aspirations?
To stay within the translation industry.

What is your favourite memory of Kent?
Lunches with friends on campus!

What advice would you give to somebody thinking of coming to Kent?
Come and visit, it’s a beautiful part of the world and is very close to the city.

How would you describe your time at Kent in three words?
Fun, educational, inspirational.

Vanessa Vander

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