August 25, 2020

Recent MS in Translation Graduate Joseph Puerari Describes Path to His Role as a Translation Project Manager

MS in Translation (MST) graduate Joseph Puerari found his footing in the translation industry quickly after graduating from the program. Beginning his coursework with an affinity for languages but minimal professional translation experience, Joseph was able to acquire the skills and the network necessary to launch a career in the industry once his degree was complete. In the interview below, Joseph explains how his coursework and contacts in the program led him to a rewarding role as a Translation Project Manager.   


Q: What kind of professional experience did you have before enrolling in the MST program?


A: As an undergraduate, I worked different jobs in hospitality, tutored in Spanish, and volunteered to interpret on a medical trip in Peru. I also completed a business internship abroad which involved some translation work. After graduation, I taught Spanish before deciding to enroll in the NYU SPS Master’s in Translation.


Q: What were your biggest takeaways from the experience of writing a thesis?


A: I translated a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) report from Spanish to English regarding the positive and negative changes in pharmacy regulations within the Community of Madrid. It contained mostly legal and medical terminology. Although the legal terminology was familiar, I did not have much prior knowledge of pharmaceutical terminology in English or Spanish and had to conduct a lot of research. While challenging, I found the thesis process to be extremely valuable as an introduction to the way a linguist works day-to-day, conducting research in both source and target languages and working with CAT tools.


Q: How did you find your current job?


A: I found my current job, as a Translation Project Manager, through a colleague who is also a close friend. She also completed the MS in Translation. It is my first job in the translation industry and I absolutely love it!


Q: What do you like most about your job? In what ways is it a good fit for you in terms of your interests and skills?


A: I am multilingual and have a deep passion for languages and cultures. It is interesting to me to see language at work and I find it rewarding to be part of an industry that helps facilitate international commerce and ideas between companies and institutions. 

What I like the most about being a Translation Project Manager is that I am constantly learning about the translation industry every day. I am learning about the business side of translation as well as how to apply the skills I acquired in the MST and my time abroad into my work. I also enjoy localizing formats in documents for a client. My goal is to make clients feel so comfortable reading a text that it is as if the text has not been translated.


Q: In what ways has your graduate degree prepared you for your current role, or for the job market more generally?


A: This program has taught me many tangible and intangible lessons which have prepared me to work in the translation industry. I learned how to proofread, ensure quality, and localize dates, times, and other formats. I became familiar with the software tools that guide my work. Since the program is small, students do connect with others. This helps with networking and finding a role in the language industry, as it did in my case. The knowledge, experience, guidance, and patience of the professors helped build my curiosity and passion for this industry. I believe these lessons have made me a better Project Manager because I fully understand the linguist’s role and am prepared to confidently address my clients’ questions. The time management skills I learned in the program have been helpful both personally and professionally.


Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about your time in the program, or your professional experience since graduating?                    


A: I would like to thank the professors and staff at NYU for preparing me for the translation industry. I am happy to call NYU my alma mater and hope to stay in touch with my mentors and colleagues from the MST.



A translation and interpreting degree can help you to take charge of your career, whether you are new to the field or already working in the language professions. Apply for CALA’s newly renamed MS in Translation and Interpreting, a fully online, 36-credit graduate program.



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