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By Plamena Todorova

12 years. 9 roles. 1 company: From Admin to Interpretation

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The Welocalize interpretation team is hiring an experienced Interpretation Manager based anywhere in the US.

The career journey of Viviana Bernabe, the Director of Global Interpretation at Welocalize is a wonderful example of how far you can go when you say ‘yes’ to opportunities that come your way.  

Viviana is a Southern California native who enjoys hot weather and beach life; however she is now based in Portland, Oregon (US). This is her career story… 

From the Music Industry to Language Services 

Viviana’s background is in Audio Engineering & Sound Design. Her first major job out of school was developing and managing music artists in Los Angeles. Representing music bands, she developed their social media presence to engage their fan base.  

Like many people, she landed in the language industry entirely by chance in 2009. Having just relocated closer to family in Orange County, California, she no longer wanted to commute 4 hours every day. As a temporary stopgap, she took a job at Global Language Solutions (GLS – later acquired by Welocalize) in Aliso Viejo, CA. 

12 years later, she is still with Welocalize.  

The Beginning  

Viviana started at GLS as an Administrative Assistant screening calls, helping Project Managers with client deliverables, and issuing supplier POs. At the time, it was a small office with around 12 employees and it allowed Viviana to experience multiple job functions within localization.  A few months later, her friendly personality was noticed by the VP of Sales, and Viviana got the chance to change roles and manage a few accounts that had potential to grow. While this was an exciting move, the position eventually became focused entirely on new business which wasn’t an area that Viviana saw her career continuing to develop in.   

Project Management Life  

The next stop in Viviana’s career journey is Project Coordination – assisting Project Managers with booking teams for translation and interpreting projects. Through a time of exponential growth for GLS, new opportunities came quickly! One day Viviana was working with life sciences teams and soon after she was a Junior PM, managing 10+ projects a day for a program that had 80+ target languages.  

Career Development 

Over time, Viviana was exposed to a wider range of projects and clients and as the company continued to grow, even more opportunities came along. She became a Senior Project Manager and took оn a team leadership role within her previous 80-language program team.  

This was the first time I had an open slate to build something, so I took the initiative to develop quality guidelines, training material, and tackled overall process harmonization for a rapidly growing team. At one point I was leading a team of 20+ PMs based in five countries, across six time zones. With data backing up my direct contribution and program ROI, I put myself forward for a Production Manager role, knowing that I was already performing at that level”, says Viviana.

2016: Welocalize Acquires Global Language Services  

Roughly six months after the acquisition of GLS by Welocalize, Viviana moved changed her focus and moved from the specialist life sciences team, over to the localization team. There she took over a quickly growing localization program for a major tech company.  

I immersed myself into an unknown world of continuous localization, with automation, connectors, and query boards. Our customers were just as, if not more, knowledgeable about localization than me. It was one of my favorite experiences within my career because it challenged and humbled me regularly. To this day, I am grateful to all my Welocalize mentors that helped me adapt and let me ask 1000 questions a day to figure everything out”, says Viviana.

Current State: Interpreting  

As before, Viviana’s ability to figure things out and deliver great results after taking on new challenges has been noticed and she quickly built an excellent reputation for herself within Welocalize. When the Interpreting department needed a new leader in 2019, she got the job! 

I am really excited about the direction of our interpreting team! We have an amazing group of passionate individuals who make sure we always do our best and continuously help each other grow. I am involved in industry working groups to stay on top of trends and I share the knowledge I have been able to acquire with others who are equally as enthusiastic about the trajectory of interpreting as an industry. “, says Viviana.

Welocalize = Opportunity  

What I like most about Welocalize is opportunity. If you are willing to go above and beyond and can find ways to positively impact our clients, colleagues, process, whatever – doors will open. If you want it, roll up your sleeves and take it”, says Viviana.

12 years later, Viviana’s journey with Welocalize is continuing at full speed. Career progression to this extent, within one organization, are becoming less common. People often look elsewhere for career progression, rather than looking for opportunity where they already are. If you are ready for your next career move, make sure you start with your current employer.  

The Welocalize interpreting team is always on the lookout for great interpreters to work with. Find our latest job openings or upload your general application. They are also recruiting for an experienced US Interpretation Manager.


About Plamena Todorova

Plamena’s eclectic professional journey encompasses digital marketing and strategy, talent acquisition, and lately employer branding. The red thread connecting all her professional experiences is her passion for creating novel solutions and working to solve complex problems. She is always busy building something, be it bridges between people and ideas, or bold visions for a brighter future. She currently leads the Employer Branding & Culture Program, where she finds creative ways to tell the world why Welocalize is a great company to work with.


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