Kim De Silva – the perfect union of zen and project management
What does your role involve?
The PM team is the nerve centre of the business – this is where quotes are prepared, translation orders accepted, suppliers booked and queries coordinated. The trick is to stay zen and not let anything upset your rhythm. As the operations manager I get a broader perspective of the business and try to continuously improve our processes.
What’s your professional/academic background and how has it helped prepare you for your current job?
I learned a lot of the basics during my language studies in Germany, France and the UK but, to a greater extent, working and finding my feet in these countries helped me develop my problem-solving skills. In particular, working as a translator at Airbus helped me appreciate the tremendous skills translators need to transmit messages from one language to another.
What are your working languages? Are you learning/planning to learn any more?
German, English and French. I studied Spanish for some time at school and university and would like to get back into it.
Did you always know you wanted to work in the translation industry? Why did you decide to work as a project manager?
I knew very early on that I wanted a career where I can use my language skills but wasn’t sure what. For me, translation project management was the perfect combination: I get to communicate across borders on a daily basis and also satisfy my linguistic curiosity by thinking about the translation requirements of our projects.
What do you like best about working at AST in particular?
I’ve never worked with a better team than my colleagues at AST. The atmosphere is always cheerful and you can count on everyone’s support when things heat up, for example when placing an urgent translation project.
What do you think makes AST different from other (translation) companies?
So much of our business communication happens via e-mail (which is great because it’s efficient) but we never forget the human behind the e-mail. The personal approach helps us develop strong relationships with clients and suppliers.
What do you like best about your role?
I like that no one day is the same, so it never gets boring. That’s because every project is unique and may require thinking out of the box to get things just right for the client.
What would you be if you weren’t operations manager?
I would travel the world and review the best restaurants for a living!
We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Kim! Join us next time for another Getting to know us post where you’ll get to meet another wonderful member of the AST team!