A Day in the Life of… Sabina Metcalf

Hello everyone. October was c-r-a-z-y again but technically, we’re still in it! So here’s this month’s instalment of my series.

This month’s #ADayInTheLifeof features colleague Sabina, an English into Russian translator and  Senior Adviser, European Operations for MasterWord Services, Inc.

Did I say she’s one of my best friends and one of the first people I met in the UK? 

Read Sabina’s blog too, it’s very good: http://shadeofredblog.com/

Red is my shade. (photo credit: @xosecastro)

Red is my shade.
(photo credit: @xosecastro)


7 am: Argh, I hate mornings. I am truly miserable before I have my first cup of coffee. An espresso please, no sugar, a drop of double-cream.

7.15 am: Slurp. Yep, that is better. Still unable to communicate in full sentences though.

7.20 am: Done. You may now speak.

Coffee is a crucial player in our lives.

Coffee is a crucial player in our lives.

(Note of Val: I totally feel the same in the morning ;p )

7.25 am: Frantically run around the kitchen feeding the dog, letting the dog out, and scratching the dog. Just like yours truly, Dave, my sausage dog, feels very unsociable in the mornings, so after having a bowl of Iams biscuits with a drop of double-cream on top (what? not all dogs have that in the morning?), Dave goes straight back to bed, before her spot gets cold.

Would a cat allow me to do this? Nah.

Would a cat allow me to do this? Nah.

7.30 am: I am blind as a bat and need to put my lenses in before I do anything further.

7.40 am: Ah, hello world! Shower and a quick trot to the gym. When I was doing my PhD in Exeter (which I am yet to complete), I discovered that unless I exercise for 30 minutes about six times per week, I cannot focus mentally. Physical exercise drives oxygen to the brain, and helps me to concentrate on the cognitive tasks I undertake every day for work.

9 am: I am at my desk, bring it on! At MasterWord Services, Inc., a leading provider of industry-specific language-support solutions, I am responsible for all our European operations.

9.15 am: Oh dear, will I ever ever get through all these emails that our Houston Headquarters have sent me over night?

9.30 am: Pffff, piece of cake. Remember that to-do list you produced yesterday? Scrap that, there are hundreds of other priorities!

10 am: Social media is the cornerstone of our operations; it is basically an online equivalent of word-of-mouth advertising. I dedicate a couple of hours every day to writing for our social media accounts and monitoring our Facebook page, Twitter account, and LinkedIn connections. We have long realised that the key to increasing your social media presence is having an interesting, engaging content. I write blog posts about the ‘delightful oddities’ of the English language, getting the most out of a multicultural work environment, and the ‘archaic’ concept of work-life balance.

I also study and write about new trends and developments in linguistic studies, on what is it like to be an interpreter or a translator in the ever-changing arena of communications, and how to maintain linguistic diversity in a globalized world. Although I recognise the importance of social media in everyday business, I think it is also vital to be mindful of your privacy and the privacy of your close circle. I use social media to build my personal brand and to advertise our company but I tend to avoid writing anything personal out of respect for people in my life who are less open to online publicity (apart from Dave, that is).

12 noon: Quick lunch and dog walk.

12.30 pm: Back at my desk. Amongst other things, I also provide linguistic support to our translation department: I act as the lead editor for our major oil-and-gas projects and the assessment coordinator for our clients. I recruit vendors, network with potential clients, and advise on linguistic issues. I am a trained English-Russian translator and interpreter, and a graduate of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, located in California. Prior to joining MasterWord, I worked as a freelancer for nearly 10 years, working with private and public sector companies around the globe.

What was I saying?

What was I saying?

3 pm: Houston office opens. I am always connected to the company server and database, and we have Skype meetings regularly. This is the time I do most of our marketing, review requests for proposals, write bids, and discuss development opportunities. Cross-cultural communication has also always been ‘my thing’ and I am fascinated by different environments and languages. We run training programmes for companies and organisations on cultural sensitivity, which are becoming increasingly popular worldwide.

7 pm: My work day is officially over but I stay online and connected on my computer or phone with our Houston office. I like to spend my evenings reading or socialising. Being based in London means that there is never any shortage of entertainment in the form of museum lates, concerts, and restaurants. Also, I recently discovered the joys of cooking with various ingredients from around the world. The exciting thing is that no matter how long you live there will always be an amazing new food for you to try! I learnt to make a green Thai curry with coconut rice the other day, and it turned out to be delicious. Even if I say so myself!

Networking with the right people ;p

Networking with the right people ;p
(photo credit: @xosecastro)

…Thanks S.!

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About Val

London-based Rainy London Translations is offering a full range of top quality interpreting, localisation, translation, consultancy and voice-overservices for both businesses and individuals. Need something else? Just ask! It may sound like a cliché, but just get in touch: what you need can be done, at a reasonable price. Valeria is also offering a 'branding' clinic service, to help freelancers find their perfect business name or polish the existing identity by finding a logo, a tagline with sound creative consultancy. Based in the City of Westminster area, the heart of London, UK, since August 2011.

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