What did you study exactly?

Applied Language Studies at Ghent University (Italian-English-Dutch), followed by a master’s in Interpreting and a post-graduate in Conference Interpreting.


What did you do before joining Blue Lines?

I started my career as an English-Dutch translator/interpreter at a translation agency. Then I worked in sales at Dille & Kamille. Although at first glance you’d think that this job had very little to do with my studies, my language and organisational skills did serve me well there. In between, I also had a 6-month stint working in communications for a Flemish MP.


How did you find out about Blue Lines, and what was the clincher for you to sign the contract?

I actually landed on Blue Lines’ LinkedIn page through a contact. When I saw a job ad pop up, I jumped on it straight away.

From the minute I walked in and Margo asked me if I wanted a cup of tea, I felt at home. The friendly atmosphere at the office was the clincher for me. That and Voltaire [the office dog], of course, who was bouncing around on my interview day!


What qualities do you think a good project manager needs to survive in the translation jungle?

A good project manager needs to be able to turn their hand to anything. I would say: a mix of multitasking to keep everything under control, social skills to be able to get on with translators and clients, and of course good enough language skills to be able to communicate with everyone.

It’s only been two months so far, so I’m by no means an expert (yet). What I’m learning now above all is to set priorities when it suddenly gets busy. One minute it can all be quite chilled here and the next minute it’s sink or swim. Sometimes it’s unbelievable!


Do you ever think about swapping jobs with a translator, even just for a day?

When interesting texts come in, I do get a bit of an urge to get my teeth stuck in. But it’s quite the opposite with heavily technical texts, which I’m happy to just coordinate. I find both sides interesting!

I had a go at your tricky translation test. That immediately gave me more of an insight into what we expect from our translators. I can also better assess the complexity of a translation and have empathy when a translator wants to extend a deadline, which is important too!


Which profession would you never be able/willing to pursue?

There are so many! But certainly a job where there’s no contact with people. One where you’re all on your own, like a security guard or something like that. Or a lifeguard: spending all day long watching people, hoping you don’t have to do anything. Because of course, you don’t actually want anyone to drown, do you?


What are your hobbies and interests?

I’m always busy doing something: swimming, ballet, inline skating, walking and, of course, spending time with friends and family. Film and theatre too. Just yesterday I went to the season presentation at NTGent, one of Ghent’s top theatres.


So, what up-and-coming acting talent should we be keeping an eye out for?

Joke Emmers is someone I saw recently who I really liked. Janne Desmet is another big talent. Then there are the theatre companies such as Compagnie Cecilia and ARSENAAL/LAZARUS. They always bring in very good actors.


What would your ideal holiday be?

I usually go on holiday to be outside, enjoying nature. This summer, I plan to visit Wales. We mainly go for the walking and cycling, but also to take in some culture – visiting an old castle, or something like that. A sun, sea and sand holiday or a city break are not so much my thing. I need a change of scenery, and gaps in the schedule every now and again to be able to do something that takes my fancy at the time.


Which countries are still on your bucket list?

I’d love to go to Scotland, and I also want to explore Scandinavia: Denmark, Sweden or Norway. Travelling to a different continent doesn’t really appeal to me. I did go to Mexico once to visit a friend there, but I don’t really feel the need to otherwise. There’s so much to see in Europe, without even getting on a plane.


What’s the last book that you read and thought: “mind blown”?

Last year, I read ‘This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn’ by Aidan Chambers, a young adult novel about a pregnant woman who writes about her life for her unborn child. From what’s going on in her head to how she experiences things: everything was beautifully described. That book really stuck with me.


Would you still like to learn another language? And if so, which one?

During Covid, I followed a course on Flemish Sign Language. That isn’t a spoken language, of course, but I would like to take it up again. Apart from that, it depends on what crosses my path. I would need to be really interested in the country, so that I could go there and practice.


What’s your creative outlet?

A while ago, I learned to sew with a friend of mine. We started off with pillowcases and baby clothes, but then we also managed to make a kimono. We’re figuring out every project as we go along. Another thing I love doing is writing cards or nice letters to leave behind for people. It’s one of those ideas that occur to me and that I like giving free rein to.


Say you move to a desert island and can only take one thing with you. What would you choose?

Weirdly, I’ve thought about this before: if a fire broke out at home, what would I grab? The thing that immediately comes to mind is a photo album. But thinking practically, I would just pack my suitcase full of food. Maybe there’s room for a photo album too?

Want more tips & tricks?