At Multilingual Connections, it’s our team that makes us the company we are today. Each team member brings their unique perspective and expertise – both professional and personal. This month we’re celebrating the fourth anniversary of our Chief Operating Officer, Mark Bishop. Mark joined Multilingual Connections after a 20-year career in nonprofit management. As the COO of the Multilingual Connections, Mark ensures the company runs smoothly and that our technology is safe and secure for all of our clients.
Meet Mark, Our Chief Operating Officer
What’s your background?
Before MLC, I was the VP of Policy at a national nonprofit in Chicago. While the two jobs are so different, the skills required to oversee a nonprofit have lots of similarities to running a small business.
What are some of those similarities?
It’s mostly from the perspective of overseeing the broad aspects of the organization. Also, it’s the can-do attitude of your day-to-day work – for me and for my team – that’s necessary because ultimately, we are responsible for getting things done.
What do you like the most about working at MLC?
Easy – it’s the people. I get to work with fun, passionate and smart people every day. It’s great to come to work in an environment where people genuinely like each other. And with employees around the world, it’s fascinating to engage in cultural exchanges every day.
Do you run into challenges when working with a global team?
Even the challenges of working across cultures is part of the fun of our work. We are very deliberate in trying to engage our culturally diverse employees, get their feedback, and incorporate their varied experiences. This helps us create a richer work environment for our employees and more successful outcomes for our clients.
What values drive you?
At MLC, we really work intentionally to share our core values with our staff and clients alike, and it’s really worked well for us. Reminding ourselves that every day we must focus on developing trusting relationships, flexibility, personal growth and change, helps us remember that our work is about helping people connect.
What are some of the ways you implement core values at work?
When we search for new team members, we use our core values to differentiate ourselves to prospective employees, as well as make them a part of our interview process. By discussing our core values with candidates, it helps us make sure our employees fit with our values. It may sound corny, but we have such a smart, driven and engaged team, and I think this is a significant reason that we have a great work culture.
What is your favorite book?
For books, I’m a sucker for a political thriller and historical fiction. I recently really enjoyed The First Conspiracy which brought those two genres together – a true story about an attempted plot to assassinate George Washington just before the American Revolutionary War.
Do you have a favorite podcast?
As for podcasts, I listen to way too much news, but I also can’t wait for the next season of Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast to come out. He is so good at taking small issues and teasing out the most fascinating pieces. The episode about how McDonalds came to reformulate the oil in which they fry their french fries… fascinating!
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, my wife and I are raising our 13-year-old son and renovating an old house. And when time permits, I like to run and play a little bit of guitar here and there (albeit poorly).
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
For the past year, I’ve been trying to teach myself to walk on my hands, and I’ve failed. It’s driving me crazy! I can hold a handstand against the wall for 5+ minutes, but take away the wall and I fall on my face. I would love to be able to learn how to do this. Oh, and I’d also love to be really good at guitar. Currently, my guitar skills are only slightly better than my hand-walking.
Do you have a secret talent?
I am a Google Sheets nerd, and most of my friends have no idea. I love creating complex spreadsheets with scripting and automation that help make workflows more efficient. Really, I enjoy working with Google Sheets and I’m good at it. I just don’t talk about it much at the risk of putting people to sleep. So maybe it’s not a secret talent, but it’s one that I tend to keep close to my vest.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
When I worked for the national nonprofit, part of my work was to support efforts to improve the quality of school food in the US. In this context, I had the opportunity to attend the James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards ceremony, where they served a roasted apple soup as an appetizer. To this day I still remember how the flavor of that soup exploded in my mouth with each spoonful. I’m hungry just thinking about it.
We congratulate Mark on his anniversary and thank him for always helping us with Google Sheets questions and for spontaneous handstand competitions in the office! But, just as important (maybe a little more important), we thank him for ensuring our operations run smoothly and we can deliver high-quality human translation services.