‘'Great people surround you, inspiring you and making you better. Not only are people here lovely, but they're also so good at what they do!’

Vanessa Spotlight

In today’s Spotlight Blog, we hear from Senior Business Development Manager Vanessa Cazaly, looking at her six years at LanguageLine, her transition into her management position and the impact of our services.

What were you doing before LanguageLine?
Before LanguageLine, I was in recruitment. My first ever job was sales-focused recruitment. I was headhunting and convincing prospects to move, and I did that in the finance arena, so that gave me an excellent sales foundation because it was demanding but instrumental. I then moved to do in-house recruitment for a facilities management company. The transition into pure sales was quite a big move for me, but it fit my skill set if that makes sense.

What do you love most about your role?
At heart, I'm just such a people person. I love talking to my clients. I love being the subject matter expert for what I do. I feel that my colleagues can come to me if they have questions about translation, particularly about selling translations. And I also love being a bit of a problem solver. What can we be doing better? How can we tailor our solution to best suit the client? What does the client actually want versus what they think they want? Anything and everything to do with being client-facing is where I thrive, for sure.

What’s a recent win/achievement you’re proud of?
The most significant advancement to LanguageLine over the last few years is introducing a more technical focus to our high-quality product offering. We've done loads of work to be at the forefront regarding translation technology. Years ago, I wasn't talking technical language at all. We have advanced so far that I need an excellent understanding of our technology tools and capabilities. We've also started selling machine translation more prominently, a relatively new product. We've evolved quickly to match the market demands.

How have things changed since joining LanguageLine?
My actual role changed a little bit because I no longer manage people. From a client=facing perspective, I would say the most significant changes have been around the selling dynamic during the COVID period, where people aren't sure what's going on and are more hesitant to spend their budget. Everybody's at home. If you think of having face-to-face client meetings, this has changed, and suddenly everything's over video. Just like most people, working from home for me is the new normal. I can see my clients' environment - it's so different from meeting in Canary Wharf.

Also, I have to say, things are becoming automated, and humans are being less involved. It's a fine line, as translation (for example) is an art form, not a science, so there's a place for technology and the human element; this is very important. However, technological development is inevitable in all areas of society, and I know we will keep pace with this. I got engaged and married to my husband while in LanguageLine, which technically ranks high in my favourite personal memories whilst working here. It makes LanguageLine special to me because those are massive things I've shared with everybody in my life.

What impact have you noticed most during your time here?
I always consider the impact of translation on access to services, which is what we do, of course. We're enabling access for people who might otherwise struggle, promoting inclusion. One of the things I love so much about LanguageLine is that we help small communities become involved and have a voice, enabling communities to access the same information everyone else in the UK is seeing. So, what LanguageLine does is an excellent reflection of the whole country's mindset regarding how we treat different nationalities, minority or not. This extends as far as Braille, BSL, audio etc. Someone can go to a museum and enjoy the descriptions of things the same way as native speakers. Language enables inclusivity, which is incredible because it connects people and makes them feel like they belong. For companies like Morrison's, for example, I honestly admire the approach that they've taken. They've realised that to retain that incredibly multilingual manufacturing team, they need to cater to them and include them fully. This creates an environment where inclusion benefits everyone involved in the various stages of production.

Final Note
One final thing I did want to say, something unique about LanguageLine (versus anywhere else that I've been), is that I feel like everyone here is an expert at what they do. For example, I can go to the bids team and know I'm getting the best possible advice. I can go to the face-to-face team and see that they know all the languages that a particular area or client focuses on. Same with compliance and our Operations teams. I feel like everyone is so good at what they do.