Alex Alyakrinskiy graduated from Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) with an MA degree in Translation and Localization Management (English-Russian) in spring of 2017. Prior to coming to MIIS, he worked as Localization Project Manager at a small LSP in Palo Alto. Alex is currently a Localization Program Manager at Fitbit in San Francisco.
*How did you find your job?
I started looking for a job four months prior to graduation. After several interviews, I landed a part-time job at a startup which allowed me the flexibility to work remotely and finish graduate school. That experience gave me an understanding of localization stakeholders which in turn helped with my full-time job search. I always wanted to combine my passion for sports, healthcare and foreign languages. As soon as I saw a job opening at Fitbit on LinkedIn I applied right away. I was hired after four rounds of interviews.
*What experiences at MIIS helped?
It goes without saying that understanding the industry plays a key role in successful employment. The localization industry is very dynamic and multi-faceted—there is something in it for everyone. Working with my MIIS career advisors Winnie Heh and Lee Desser helped to shape my resume and highlight my professional goals. Attending localization meetups and networking events such as IMUG and SF Globalization helped me to understand the versatility of our industry and align my interests and skills with opportunities in the field.
The TLM program provided a solid foundation in the latest localization tools and technical skills so valued today. I didn’t realize how closely marketing is connected to localization until I took Adam Wooten’s Marketing for Localization course. The skills I gained in that class furthered my understanding of international markets, establishing liaisons with marketing stakeholders and addressing global product launches. The Localization Practicum was a detailed hands-on class that showed the value of team work and provided the latest industry best practices which I use on daily basis at Fitbit.
*What advice would you share with MIIS students?
“There is always room for improvement. Keep networking, update your resume religiously and constantly work on yourself.” I heard that advice from a MIIS career advisor. It turned out to be the best advice I received. Looking for a job is a full-time job. Study hard, absorb new skills and try to get as much practical experience as possible. We all have different personalities and temperaments, which brings diversity and enriches every workplace. Stay true to yourself, network and establish genuine connections that will lead you to your perfect career.