Interpreter Spotlight: Christine Lee
Updated: Dec 18, 2019
This is the first in a series highlighting the variety of careers available in the field of interpreting, and the variety of professional language specialists who work as interpreters.
Christine Lee is a great example of the many different ways people find and thrive in careers as interpreters.
Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, Christine graduated from Virginia Tech in 2016 with a degree in International Studies and minors in French and Russian. Her first job after college was as a French language speaking flight attendant for United Airlines in New York City.
She loved the job and the opportunities for travel, but accepted a job with TransPerfect as an over-the-phone (OPI) financial and legal interpreter which allowed her to work remotely in Virginia Beach, VA where her family and boyfriend live. Within her first three months she was named Interpreter of the Year!
Christine switched to freelance interpreting this spring because it gave her the flexibility to also help out with a family business. She decided to take Liberty Language Services’ Bridging the Gap Medical Interpreting Course this past September. She took the five-day class on consecutive Saturdays, driving up from Virginia Beach each time.
“I could have taken a course closer to home but Liberty Language’s course is the best I could find and was worth the long drives,” she said.
Through that course and its licensed instructor (and Liberty Language Services Co-Founder), Sameh Abdelkader, Christine learned about Liberty Languages’ Language of Justice Course. She thought that would be really helpful too and took the 3-day course Monday to Wednesday in one week.
“Narine Pavlova (Liberty Language Services Interpreter Recruiter) told me about court interpreting which is another area I’d like to pursue," Christine explained. "During my LLS course, both Sameh and Narine gave me such great guidance and I really appreciated all their advice about the many different types of interpreting jobs that are available."
At TransPerfect, Christine worked with a variety of clients including US Customs and Border Protection, Chase JP Morgan, State Farm and other blue-chip firms. Now as a freelancer she’s had clients reach out to her on Linked In for legal and other interpreting.
“It’s the ideal flexible career where I can make my own hours – and the pay is great too!” Christine says.
She plans to pursue the training and state certification to be a court interpreter next Spring. In addition to appreciating the encouragement and support of Sameh Abdelkader and Narine Pavlova, Christine is also grateful for all the other interpreters she met during her Liberty Language training, and the excellent networking and resources she got taking the two courses. She sees many opportunities and options for interpreting career choices ahead.