What is your current job?
I am a freelance German-English translator and owner of my own translation company, MadDocs LLC.
Why did you choose this profession?
I was a German Studies major in college and always wanted to do something with my language skills. After graduate school (I have a Ph.D. in German from the University of California-Berkeley), remaining in academia full-time did not seem desirable/feasible, so I tried my hand at translation when my children were small. Next thing I knew, I'd been doing this for 15+ years and I LOVED working for myself. I still do!
What more do you wish to accomplish in your professional career?
I would like to do more literary and/or non-fiction translation since most of what I do is technical translation (since that's what pays the bills best). I would also like to find ways to give back to the field by taking on leadership roles in local/national translators' organizations.
Tell us about a decision or change you made that turned out to be a positive career move.
When my children were small, I decided to try working on a large academic translation project, in part because I knew I'd be good at translation and in part because I wanted to try experimenting with computer-aided translation (CAT) tools. The rest, as they say, is history.
How has Haverford influenced your professional career?
Haverford provided me with the best possible education for nearly any career. By refining my writing skills and improving and refining my language skills, however, I had developed the essential tools for becoming a good translator. I had the courage to start my own business because I knew that far stupider people than I had done so and succeeded - so in a nutshell, my Haverford education gave me the confidence to try doing something new.