Inspiring the next translation generation with University of Sheffield

Earlier this month, I was invited to attend the Professional Bridging Day held at my alma mater, the University of Sheffield. This is an event organized each year by the School of Languages and Cultures and aimed at postgraduate students. Former students of the Masters’ courses are invited to give a short speech and discuss how their studies at Uni helped them pursue a professional career.

I attended the event as a student in 2016, and it was an honour to be invited as a speaker in 2020 – now as an alumna for the Masters’ in Screen Translation. When I received the invitation, it was a pleasant surprise, and I immediately thought it would be a great opportunity to talk with current students about my work at ZOO Digital, to inspire them and motivate them, and hopefully give them some useful tips for their future life after Uni.

Giulia Puppo MAST-1

It was a cold and snowy morning in Sheffield, so I ventured in the adverse weather proudly carrying our ZOO banner around campus and set everything up for my presentation in the Humanities Research Institute building. It was exciting to be back at Uni for the day and meet professors and members of staff again!

To begin my presentation, I briefly introduced myself to the crowd of students, telling them about what brought me from Italy to Sheffield, my background in Translation Studies and my passion for cinema – and my desire to specialize in audio-visual translation and work in this industry.

When I chose to pursue my degree in Screen Translation, I knew I wanted to work in this field, but I was unsure whether I should do that as a freelance translator or as a project coordinator for a subtitling company. Both careers were equally intriguing to me – tackling translation challenges in practice is an exciting and stimulating task; on the other hand, working for a company and provide assistance to translators is a great way to get involved in the industry on a whole different level.


My Master’s provided me with the skills required to do both – I studied the theories and practice of subtitling, subtitling technology, international project management… Then, on the Professional Bridging Day in 2016 I learned about ZOO, our facility in Sheffield and the career opportunities here, and well… the rest is history!

Students were really interested in my story and they asked lots of questions about my job as a Translation Coordinator at ZOO, how my degree helped me in my interview to secure the position, if there will be any career opportunities in the future, and I was very happy to answer.

I hope I was able to reassure them, too, as I know that finishing your studies and moving on to start a career can be a bit daunting – there are many opportunities, many choices to make, and many, many doubts! But as I said to them, that is also a time of growth, when you can stop for a moment and reflect on what your skills are, how you can apply them in the ‘real’ world, understand what really motivates you and makes you want to look to the future with a smile on your face. And once you have managed to find the answers within you, finding your own path will be easy as pie!

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