At the age of 12, I began secondary education at Ripley St. Thomas High School, and I was given the opportunity not only to improve my German (and also fine tune it as the familiar German which I had picked up amongst family and in a region with quite a strong dialect was not up to AQA exam standards!) but I was also able to learn other languages, which is something I took to with much enthusiasm. German, French and Spanish quickly became favourite subjects and I decided that I would pursue languages throughout sixth form, university and beyond.
After completing my A-levels, I chose to study French and German at the University of Edinburgh, where the course involved 3 years of study + 1 year’s “foreign residency”, during which I opted to work rather than study abroad. I have found that languages have opened up so many doors, whether this be interesting placements and work experience abroad, opportunities to travel with work or, privately, giving me confidence to meet new people and explore different places and cultures in more depth.
During my year abroad for my degree I worked in a Translation Agency in the beautiful town of Tübingen in Southwest Germany. I was thrown into the deep end; answering enquiries and project managing in German for the first time and I got such a buzz from it!
Upon graduating I was unsure exactly what field I wanted to go into but I was certain that a priority would be to find a job in which I could continue to use my language skills. I started by working for the big German Discounter, Lidl, at the UK Head Office in London. I applied for a Purchasing Assistant role which gave me broad experiences and involved a certain amount of German communication and translation. For my second and current position I wanted to increase the amount of German involved in the job and was very pleased when I saw a vacancy for a Personal Assistant at the German Embassy, where the official working language is entirely in German.
I have now settled permanently in London with my husband, through my job at the embassy, I find myself in the midst of German nationals, culture and language on a daily basis and my language ability is becoming ever more fluent.