Interview with freelancer – Laura Orona
- Tell us more about your background & your college life?
I was born in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. While growing up, I lived in different places due to my father’s job and I guess somewhere along that road, I became aware of the importance of languages, cultures, and connecting both of them. As my whole family is from Argentina, I decided to finish high school in that country and follow a career path in translation. I pursued my dream of becoming an EN-ES translator at the School of Languages from the National University of Córdoba and I got my degree in February this year (2020).
- Tell us why did you decide to become a freelancer? What motivated you?
I decided to become a freelancer because I’ve always cherished my own sense of freedom. I think that it has to do with the fact that being a freelancer gives you the opportunity to choose between different options and, while scary, that is something exciting as well.
- Would you advise freelancing as a career option to students around the world?
I would definitely do so. I believe that students in this globalized world are truly prepared to face the different challenges that they may encounter along the road. Whether it is somehow scary at first, it is definitely worth it.
- How do you get new customers for a freelancing job? Which websites do you use for freelancing?
The best way of getting new customers is to create interpersonal relationships. When it comes to freelancing, everyone is a potential client; the way in which you get along with people may be what marks the success of your career. In addition, websites such as ProZ, LinkedIn, and TranslatorsCafe are some of the best ones I’ve used to get in touch with different customers around the world.
- What inspires you in life and keeps you going?
Having different goals and dreams is what keeps me going. I try to set short-term goals and I constantly remind myself of them. I like to keep in mind that every moment that has led me to where I am now, is part of who I am and is part of my path. This way, whenever I’m having a rough time, I look back and try to see all that I’ve accomplished so far and all those amazing things that are waiting for me ahead.
- What is your idea of success or your mantra in life?
In my opinion, success comes in all shapes. Success is not about achieving one single goal, but about recognizing that every single step that you take matters because they all helped to get you where you are now. When we become aware of all we’ve been through, all the times we fell and got up again, all those little moments are moments of success.
- What have been some of your biggest challenges and learnings from what you do as a freelancer?
What freelancing taught me is to be patient and constant. If you decide to become a freelancer, you must be patient and dedicate, at least, 5 hours of your day to your career. Sometimes, that can be a challenge in itself; it may be frustrating to feel that you’re looking for clients and you don’t get them as fast as you thought you’d do. But you have to remember that it is all part of a process and whether sometimes it might be a little bit tiring, its reward is worth it.
- What did you do in your current role that makes you feel really proud of yourself?
At the moment, I’m working as Head of the Linguistic Quality Assurance Department at ENC Language Support. In this role, I’ve learned that I’m able to lead a group of people with kindness and respect, but also with responsibility and showing my linguistic abilities. I’m proud of being in charge of an amazing group of people who trust in my knowledge and believe in me.
- What’s your message to encourage students to do internships and live projects?
Every experience that you can get counts; it counts for your present and it will definitely count for your future. Getting involved in your career from the early beginnings will help you detect what you like and what you don’t, and at the same time, that will give you the opportunity to decide which direction you want to follow.
- What skills do you think are most important for any students and how they should learn it?
First of all, students must learn how to communicate with people. I say this because I think that sometimes we take for granted the importance of causing a good impression and communicating their ideas in a proper way. Once this skill is accomplished, I would strongly recommend them to constantly learn new things about their career. There are tons of online (and free) courses that will prepare you better for your future.
- What are your future plans?
Although I like planning and thinking about my future, I guess that is one of the many things that this pandemic has taught us; that we only have today, and things can change any minute. However, I also like to be prepared for what may come ahead, which is why I am currently studying to get my diploma in audiovisual translation and I plan to create my own website so clients can contact me faster.
- What are the top 3 tips or advice you would give to any other student to reach their dreams?
It may sound cliché, but I think that the best advice I can give is this: Never give up on yourself, no matter how difficult things may get, just try to remember why you started; be true to yourself and your values, there is no amount of money or number of clients that is worth betraying your roots; try not to compare with others because we all have different life stories, different times and different ways to accomplish what we want.
- Your favorite quote?
“May the people believe because they have something to believe in.” Marcelo Gallardo, technical manager of River Plate. He said these words just before he and his team won one of the most important and prestigious tournaments against its all-life rival. As a freelancer, believing in yourself will make the difference.