Joanne Paquette: Trust Your Instincts

2014-2015 Issue 2

JoanneforMcGillJoanne is a Montreal success story: born and raised here, she grew up speaking English and French, and took a few Spanish language courses later on. She received a bachelor of commerce with a specialization in finance from UQAM, and earned over 20 years of experience in the field working in the stock market on behalf of stockbrokers and banks. Her language skills soon earned her a reputation in the finance world, as her colleagues would often “come and ask me to look at their letters and reports,” says Joanne. “I’d review them for grammar and syntax in French, and sometimes in English.”

Despite her professional success, Joanne decided to take a step back and re-evaluate. “I’d always loved school, and I worship languages, so I started considering translation. I thought, ‘let’s see if I can go back as a grown woman and find something that makes me happy.’”

She decided on McGill, based on its excellent reputation. Although nervous to take the translation program entrance exam, “I was so proud when I passed!”

She took one course per semester, continued working full-time and never missed a class. “Those four years went by very quickly” says Joanne. “I really enjoyed the learning process, as well as working with great teachers and meeting colleagues from different backgrounds. The passion is still there for me, and I’m sad that school is over.”

Joanne has already begun her translation career, completing a few short-term contracts. Now armed with her Certificate in Translation, she’s looking for a job that matches the diversity of her skills. “I believe in trusting your instincts and using your talents to their full extent,” she says. “I got exactly what I wanted from the program; now I want to create a career that makes me happy.”

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