METM15 presentation

Challenge by Choice  – creating your own opportunities and measuring risk


Katie Anne Whiddon, Rome, Italy

With today’s economic uncertainty and fierce competition for jobs amongst linguist graduates, it is increasingly important for individuals to create their own opportunities within the marketplace. I would like to share how I shaped my career through training opportunities, networking and having a resilient yet flexible approach to work. I believe in the philosophy of Challenge by Choice – challenging yourself to go beyond your comfort zone to achieve your ultimate career aim. I believe that this is achievable through taking measured career risks, along with having the courage to take, ask for or create your own opportunities for career development.

As a linguist and conference interpreter, I will discuss the wide-ranging opportunities and entry points available from working with social movements and niche markets to larger global organisations, such as the UN and the Rome-based agencies, where I have recently seized new opportunities. I will also focus upon the highs and lows of the lifestyle of a freelance interpreter, from the challenges faced whilst working to the importance of preparation and knowing your audience.

Katie Anne Whiddon has a Masters in African Studies and is a translator, interpreter, trainee and part-time trainer. Her working languages are: English A, Spanish B and French, German, Portuguese C and she is currently adding Italian C. Katie is domiciled in Rome, where she is a conference interpreter for the Civil Society Mechanism for Food Security and Nutrition. Katie’s professional development is ongoing and she is currently a trainee interpreter at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. Katie also runs her own cross-cultural language solutions business.

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