Larisa’s superpower is to answer more than 1000 emails a day. Well, not every day. That would lead to energy exhaustion, both human and supernatural. But yes, there are days, and many of them, when the number of emails she goes through reaches the hundreds or surpasses the 1000 mark. Larisa is our LSP division team leader. Her story? Keep reading!
At the office or in real life, Lari is the life of the party. Apart from her capacity to reply to many emails, mostly with a lot of calmness, she can laugh. When Larisa laughs, we all laugh. When she cries… we look for the one responsible and… purposefully mess up their translations! Who is Larisa and how come she can answer even 1000 emails a day?
Larisa’s beginnings at the agency
Larisa Țoiu-Stan joined the agency after a career in EU funds. She worked with projects, to be more precise, which, although not initially directly related to translations, helped her integrate more easily into the agency’s daily work. As a new mother, Lari became familiar with the agency by working on document translations for European projects.
Aiming for more in her career, she decided to apply for a project manager job. She was immediately welcomed to our side of the barricade, and from there, it took four years for her to become a team leader. Coming to Swiss was one of the best and most important decisions of her life, our colleague tells us. Because she found not only a job but also a second family here.
Leading the LSP team
“Swiss Solutions was our partner at the time, and because I enjoyed interacting with them, I applied for a job here and got it! That decision was one of the best I’ve ever made in my life. The following year was full of challenges, as a new mother and part of a family looking to buy a house, as well as facing new challenges in an industry and an environment entirely new to me.
I am forever grateful to my colleagues from back then, incredible souls. I started as a project manager, and after years of hard work, much passion and effort in translations, I became the leader of the LSP team. Not many things have changed over the years. We still smile just as much.
The friendship between us is strong, both with my current team and the people who helped me adapt. The workload is greater, but this is a sign of our agency’s development,” Larisa told us.
How to respond to 1000 emails a day
Larisa deals with an endless volume of emails. Even if it’s not exactly 1000 a day, with five project managers to look after, she handles hundreds of emails daily. Yes, every day! How do you manage such a high volume of emails, projects, and various special or even “spectacular” situations? With patience!
“It’s very important, especially for new project managers, to understand right from the training phase how the programs work, how to write an email that provides all the necessary details, either to the translator or the client, and to get the knacks of this job. If they understand that, then I only need to supervise them from that moment on.
If someone needs me, I’m always ready to send an email or make a call, regardless of the workload. And yes, there are days with hundreds of emails, and I go through, more or less, all of them. It’s not an exaggeration; I’ve most likely had a day with 1000 emails. It’s a lot, but with patience, you navigate the sea… of emails!” our colleague told us.
Advice for future linguists
After five years in the industry, Larisa knows almost everything there is to know about translations, especially those provided for other agencies or large international clients. Even though it’s not easy, Larisa’s work is extremely important to all of us. How do you become a linguist and successfully navigate this challenging world?
“1. Prioritize the foreign language: It’s essential to have a solid knowledge of the languages you translate. Continue to improve your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in those languages, even after completing your studies. Consider studying grammar, vocabulary, and the specific style of the languages you translate.
2. Specialize in a specific field: Translations cover a wide range of domains, from medicine and technology to marketing and literature. Specializing in a particular field can attract specific clients to you and help you perfect your knowledge of domain-specific terminology.
3. Don’t forget about computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools: Invest time in translation software and tools like Trados, MemoQ, and others. These can speed up the translation process and help maintain terminological consistency. When you work in an agency, you will definitely need them for your day-to-day work.
4. The customer is always right: Every client and translation project can have specific requirements. Learn to be patient, communicate clearly with clients, meet your deadlines, and adapt your translations to their needs. This is how you build long-lasting relationships with them.
5. A bit of editing and proofreading: Ensure that you can review and correct your own translations to eliminate grammatical, and stylistic errors, or mistranslations. Quality is essential in our field, so editing and proofreading skills will also help you deliver high-quality translations” our colleague concluded.
Larisa knows it’s important to always keep an open attitude towards continuous learning, and be prepared to adapt to industry changes, such as new technologies and trends. Success in the translation field largely depends on dedication, passion, and the constant development of one’s skills.
And lots of laughter, especially Monday through Friday!