My name is Stuart Brown and I graduated from Aston's School of Languages and Social Sciences in 2008 with a BSc in Translation Studies French and German. I've had a profound love of languages for a long time and I really enjoy the opportunities which mastering a foreign language can open up, not to mention the ability a common language has to bring people together in a foreign culture.
Part of the Translation Studies programme at Aston involved spending a year working or studying abroad. Knowing that I wanted both my French and German skills to remain at the same level and that I was heading towards a career in translation, I opted for two six-month work placements, with the first six months spent working for Daimler in Stuttgart and the other half of the year at Spincontrol in the idyllic city of Tours in central France. Although the two companies work with very different products and services from domains as different as chalk and cheese, both placements allowed me to gain a wide variety of skills and knowledge, all of which still help me in my day-to-day working life.
After graduation, I returned to Daimler's Corporate Language Management department in Stuttgart and continued translating owner's manuals and highly technical computer-based training programs before being headhunted in 2011 by the Anglokom Institut, one of Daimler's long-standing language service providers based in the nearby Waiblingen where I currently hold the position of Office Manager. Besides ensuring the smooth running of our translation operations, I am also responsible for a friendly team of staff from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. As I am still also actively involved in the translation and correction of a range of diverse texts, I continually apply the theories which were taught during my studies at Aston.
My reasons for choosing to study at Aston included the feeling of being part of the tightly-knit community that is Aston's campus and the University's more scientific approach to language learning. The practically-oriented teaching methods at Aston allowed me to develop both the theoretical and practical skills required in this field of work – I was well-prepared for my year abroad and thus in turn well-prepared for real working life.
I have fond memories of Aston and particularly value the quality of the teaching I received, which is why I'm always keen to stay in touch with LSS and offer both graduate and undergraduate translators the chance to work with us and gain the valuable experience needed in translation.