Professional Profiles

Interpretation and translation grad: ‘Now I can be creative in both languages’

Jessica Lin, a graduate of our Diploma in Interpretation and Translation.
September 20, 2013
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By Amy Robertson

Now that she’s completed our interpretation and translation training, an SFU grad is taking her creative skills to the Chinese market.

Jessica Lin came to Canada from Taiwan in 2006 with plans to study communications, knowing a North American university degree would give her resumé the prestige she was looking for.

Lin began a degree in media communications and theatre at Trinity Western University (TWU) in 2008, and she took whatever opportunity she could to develop her creativity. She spent three years working for the university newspaper and did short stints at several magazines, including one in Taipei over the summer of 2011. During her last year of studies, she also did graphic design work for TWU’s School of the Arts, Media and Culture, and became active with the Canadian Public Relations Society.

Media specialist decides to add languages to her skill set

As Lin prepared to graduate in 2012, she made plans to pursue a career in media and public relations at home in Taiwan—but then another opportunity caught her eye. She’d seen an ad for SFU Continuing Studies’ Interpretation and Translation Program and was intrigued. She’d done—and enjoyed—some informal interpretation work during her undergraduate program, and even a little translation during her magazine internship in Taipei: she’d translated a Lady Gaga article into Chinese.

Lin realized that becoming a Chinese/English language specialist could make her skill set even more appealing—and versatile. She also thought it would help her reconnect with the Chinese community. Putting off her plans to return home, Lin enrolled in SFU’s Chinese/English Diploma in Interpretation and Translation in 2012.

She says she truly appreciates everything she learned during the eight-month program—especially the opportunity to refine her professional language skills during interpreting field trips to news, publishing, arts and cultural organizations.

“I really enjoyed those field trips—just to see how industries can use interpretation on a daily basis,” she says.

She was also struck by how much more there was to effective interpretation than she had previously thought. “You learn how much you didn’t know.”

Woman offered a job a month after graduating

Lin landed a paid interpretation opportunity only a month after completing her diploma. She translated for Chinese delegates at a conference at B.C. Place, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Lin hopes to eventually do communications and PR at a multinational corporation—and she already has a promising head start. She operates a graphic design and business called JLin Design, and an interpreting business called Linterpret. In 2013, she began contributing to an online cultural publication, Schema Magazine, as a writer, graphic designer and language specialist.

She’s looking forward to bringing her career to Taiwan, and contributing to the “booming” Chinese market.

“I can see myself being really useful there,” she says. “Now I can be creative in both languages.”