Selima Ben Chagra, 2015

Current city: Tunis, Tunisia

Concentrations: Arabic to English & French to English Translation

Now I’m: Liaison Officer and Translator/Interpreter at the United Nations Mine Action Service, Libya

I came to Translation & Interpreting Studies because:
I have filled different positions before realizing that the only career that could get me to work in most of the fields I was passionate about was a career in translation and interpreting. My main motivation for studying translation and interpreting was the fact that it was the only specialty that could allow me to keep working in all the other fields I loved (foreign affairs, health, advertising, human rights, education, etc.) without having to give any of them up. The fact that I had already worked in the above-mentioned fields before joining the program made me even more aware of the importance of gaining another perspective into the world of translation and interpreting. The fact that the department offered double-concentration studies involving my two native languages was also a huge advantage.

What career advice do you have for current or potential TIS students?
I started my TIS with over ten years of international experience, and while that doesn’t make me a match for a typical student profile, I think it enables me to give some insight from a different perspective. If my story can tell you anything, it shows that it is never too late to follow your dreams and that having a successful career does not necessarily mean giving up on your studies, and vice versa. If you are a current TIS student with no or little experience, this degree can give you access to both freelancing and in-house opportunities. It may also help to do some volunteering when you can afford to. Besides the fact that it is self-rewarding to work on issues that you believe in, volunteering with big organizations can also give you visibility and allow you to build or expand your professional network.