2023 not only marks the fifth year of my ATA membership, but also the fifth anniversary of my full-time freelance translation and interpreting career. While there is still a lot for me to learn so I can grow with the Association, being a relatively young professional has allowed me the unique perspective to engage in outside-of-the-box thinking.
In our work as translators, we are all too familiar with the “tunnel vision” phenomenon. I can be that pair of fresh eyes to make constructive suggestions to help guide our Association toward its mission and vision in the constantly changing landscape of the translation and interpreting professions.
My story with ATA is a personal one. Unlike many members who found ATA to be helpful only to their career, my stumbling upon it was life-changing and its impact extends far beyond just my career. ATA offered a brand-new mindset that enabled me to build a career. A well-known Chinese proverb says that the frog at the bottom of the well thinks the sky is only as big as the mouth of the well. ATA is the ladder that led me to a world of possibilities I didn’t know existed. It is something my heart holds near and dear, and I wholeheartedly want to keep building and helping guide this great organization so it can be the inspiration for many others!
I joined ATA’s Strategy Committee in 2022 because I wanted to make a bigger contribution. Aligned with my vision for ATA, I proposed and now spearhead the conference outreach effort to T&I institutions to increase awareness of ATA among potential T&I professionals through ATA’s Annual Conference. Also in 2022, I was brought onto the Membership Committee, where I work alongside established interpreters to compile resources for new interpreters! Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think of doing or being capable of undertaking anything like these professional activities when I first joined ATA. But when opportunities present themselves, the passion that drives me tells me I have more to give.
An organization is only as strong as its members. The stronger the organization, the prouder its members feel belonging to it, and the more likely they are to contribute to make the organization even stronger. ATA has done its part for me and now it is my turn to help build it. With your trust and faith, I would work very hard to make the day come when ATA becomes the symbol of prestige and authority in the translation and interpreting sphere, and the welcoming professional home to all of us!