Curious how an academic finds her way to entrepreneurship? Dr. Jill Kushner Bishop, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Multilingual Connections, has had an interesting and unique path from academia to entrepreneurship. Following her passion for language and culture, she studied linguistic anthropology before finding her way to user research. Although she planned to stay in academia, user research allowed her to practically apply what she learned and set her down a different career trajectory altogether. Just a few more twists and turns and Multilingual Connections was born.
Did you know that Multilingual Connections began as a language training service for hotels, restaurants, and manufacturing facilities? Today, Multilingual Connections offers research, transcription, multimedia localization and professional translation services in over 75 languages. While the transition from a language training center to a translation services agency was a difficult one, she is so proud of what this team has become!
Since its inception, the company has continued to change and grow. Not only is the team larger, but the specialization has also grown. Global brands and local museums alike require professional translation and interesting niches are served in many industries like market research, film and entertainment production, advertising and so many more. This is a long way from academia, but the rigor is the same. Even as artificial intelligence improves, there will always be a need for human nuance and cultural understanding in professional translation services.
Jill says, “I’m hopeful that there will always be a place within my industry for the human side of things.” The Multilingual Connections localization and transcreation teams work hard to deliver cultural resonance in each translation. This is work above and beyond what AI is capable of for now.
The best part? Jill loves supporting leaders of multicultural organizations as they work to understand the most valuable resource – the humans who work for them, especially those who speak multiple languages and understand the nuances of other cultures. Since 2005 Multilingual Connections has helped businesses in various industries bridge cultural gaps and overcome language barriers and she hopes to be doing that for many years to come!
Listen to the full episode to see how Jill’s path to leadership can encourage us all to prioritize connection, open-mindedness, and what’s spoken between the lines.
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