In december you meet Elin Askelöv who has studied on the 1-year master’s programme in academic translation. Today, she works as project manager for the language app Babbel in Berlin.
Name: Elin Askelöv
Current profession and city: Project manager, Berlin
What did you study at Linnaeus University and when did you graduate?
“I studied the 1-year master’s programme in academic translation and graduated in 2014.
What do you work with?
“I work with the language app Babbel, as project manager for the Nordic languages”.
What is most fun about your job?
“The most fun part about my job is what is also the very core of my job: to design, author, and publish language courses. It’s great fun trying to optimise the users’ experience of language learning and make it as engaging and efficient as possible, and to work with concept ideas, especially when they include new technologies like, for instance, computer linguistics”.
What did you do to establish yourself on the labour market after your studies?
“I started as a freelance translator here in Berlin and did work for Babbel already during my studies on the academic translation programme. After graduating, I became an employee at Babbel, when they needed a Swedish editor. As editor, I worked a lot with localisation and translation – a lot of translation of course material but also texts for marketing, PR, and interface texts in the product itself. After a couple of years, I started working as project manager which means that today I do not have all that much text focus in my everyday work, but instead work a lot with project and product-related tasks”.
What was your student life like?
“I didn’t have much of a traditional student life at all actually. The academic translation programme is a distance education so I travelled from Berlin to Växjö a few times every semester. During these trips to Växjö it was, of course, a lot of fun to meet the other course participants and exchange experiences, but other than that I didn’t really feel like a student since I worked part-time while studying. To me it didn’t feel like a disadvantage that the programme was a distance education, on the contrary, if you want to work as a translator you must get used to a lot of independent work, self-discipline, and project management of your own time”.
In what ways did you come in contact with the labour market during your studies?
“I worked during my studies at Linnaeus University, and have most often had other summer jobs and extra jobs during my other studies, so that’s always been natural to me”.
What do you bring with you from your studies at Linnaeus University?
Is there anything in particular that you’ve been able to do thanks to your education?
“I learnt a lot on the academic translation programme that is very useful to me today – above all (which I didn’t think at the time) I have to recall, almost on a daily basis, the knowledge from the sub-course on Swedish grammar and contrastive grammar. And I don’t think that I would have been given my current job at all if I had not had the 1-year master programme on my CV. I guess I thought I would become a freelance translator after finishing my programme, and who knows maybe one day I will, but at the moment I very much enjoy being an employee”.
Can you give any career tips?
- “If possible, work during your studies. That way, you’ll find out what you enjoy and what you’re good at – and what you want to try to avoid”.
- “Depending on what type of company you work at, exchanging experiences with other departments and colleagues who work with other things than yourself is a great way of finding out what is the next logical step in your career”.