At Multilingual Connections, each team member brings their unique perspective and experience to the table – both professionally and personally. This month we would like to introduce Elizabeth Dumitrescu, a Team Lead at Multilingual Connections. Liz joined the MLC team as a project manager and has worked on hundreds of accounts over the last 5 years. Now, most of her time is spent leading large and complex projects, training and leading a team of project managers, and streamlining processes.
Meet Liz, Team Lead at Multilingual Connections
Why and how did you start working in the translation industry?
I was born in Los Angeles, but moved to the north suburbs of Chicago at a young age and grew up there. I’ve always been interested in languages: since the 7th grade, Spanish was my favorite class and I got my bachelor’s degree in it. After college, I worked as an English teacher in Spain for 4 years and, when I moved back to the US, I started working as an over-the-phone interpreter. Later, I realized my interests were more in written translation and I earned an advanced certificate in translation studies from the University of Chicago. I worked for four years as an in-house translations manager on the client-side then moved over to the agency-side of things when I joined Multilingual Connections in 2015.
My maternal grandfather spoke 5 languages and my paternal great grandfather was an interpreter and advocate for Native Americans in the southwest. Working in the language industry was kind of a logical place for me to end up.
Which languages do you speak?
Besides English, I am fluent in Spanish. I also speak Portuguese at a beginner-intermediate level and am currently learning Romanian.
What have you learned since working in project management?
I have learned so much and I’ve gained experience with different types of projects, which helped me get perspective on what solutions work the best for different situations. I think creativity and transparency are key for my position and for anyone in this industry. I’ve also learned a lot about people management from the company’s leadership team and from my manager, in particular. Multilingual Connections really cares about its clients, vendors, and employees and I’ve learned how important and valuable it is to bring the same care to my role in the company.
What advice would you give someone just starting in this role?
My first advice is to really listen to your clients and coworkers. We can all learn a lot from each other and we can best help our clients when we truly understand their needs. I would also like to emphasize how important self-reflection, flexibility, and understanding are.
What has been your favorite project so far?
Well, most of my projects present their own unique challenges and I really enjoy that. I’m passionate about the work we do for child protective services and other non-profit organizations. I like projects where we can have a positive impact on the community. At the moment, I’m proud of all the COVID-19-related translations we’ve been doing. We are contributing to getting information out there to as many people as possible.
A lot of people have moved to working from home due to Covid-19. What advice would you give someone who is working remotely for the first time?
I’ve been working remotely now for several years and I have learned quite a few tips:
- Take breaks. Without coworkers around to go get lunch or coffee with, you have to remember to stop every once in a while to keep your mind refreshed.
- Set boundaries. When you work at home it’s easy to work late or check in after hours, but you have to take care of yourself and watch for burnout.
- Have a separate place for work where you do not do other activities. Try to minimize distractions while working and stay away from your desk when you’re not.
What values drive you?
Respect, understanding, community, and collaboration. Keeping an open mind, listening to others, and being creative and flexible are vital in our multicultural work environment and in life in general. And when people work together and collaborate, they can do almost anything.
What is your favorite thing about working at Multilingual Connections?
The people and the culture. As I mentioned earlier, Multilingual Connections really cares about its clients, employees, and vendors. We have a great team and it’s a great environment to work in. We also get such a variety of projects, that no day is exactly the same.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I like to read, listen to music, and sew (mainly historical garments). I’ve also just started learning how to sail which I’m really excited about.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
To speak more languages, of course!
Thank you, Liz, for the interview and for your invaluable contributions to Multilingual Connections’ success over the last 5 years!
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