As a recruiter who also interprets, I have the unique pleasure of being able to offer a bird’s eye view of what a new interpreter will encounter out in the field during the initial interview process. My name is Casey Potts and I am a Spanish Medical Interpreter for Vocalink. I am also part of the recruiting team at Vocalink’s Head Office in Dayton, Ohio.
I grew up in Fairborn, Ohio. However, the farther that I moved or travelled away from Fairborn, I always had to tell people, “I’m from Dayton, Ohio” because they had no idea where Fairborn was (and many had no idea where Ohio was either). After traveling extensively throughout parts of Mexico, Ecuador, Honduras, and Central America, I found myself full-circle back in Dayton once again. This time I am utilizing the language skills that I acquired through Ohio University and through my travels throughout Latin America at Vocalink in Dayton.
I love being an interpreter with Vocalink. It is very challenging and very rewarding. I often find myself trying to interpret news radio on NPR from English into Spanish while I am driving around town. If you see me around town in my car, I am not singing nor am I talking to myself. I am interpreting Robert Siegel, Melissa Block, or Audie Cornish (or the people that they are interviewing or the news sound clips themselves). Once you begin interpreting, you might also find yourself silently interpreting (in your head) a wedding ceremony, a church service, or a conversation between complete strangers that are standing too close. I have also heard stories of interpreters interpreting popular television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy or House as a way of polishing up interpreting skills while they are not at work. Whether someone prefers to interpret an NPR radio show while driving or they prefer to interpret the latest gossip about “McDreamy” in a Grey’s Anatomy episode, medical interpreting is something that gets into your blood (I do apologize for using this predictable but functional pun).
As a recruiter, I get to speak to people who, collectively, have been all over the world. I speak to potential interpreters every day that might speak Amharic, Tagalog, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, or use Sign Language. Many people that I talk to speak three languages or more. These multi-lingual people inspire me to take on a 3rd language (Mandarin, Portuguese, or ASL; I am still debating). They also remind me that I work for a wonderful company that supports and nurtures a multi-cultural community. They also tell me where in Dayton to find an authentic El Salvadorian “Papusa”, a Spanish “Tortilla de Patatas”, or a Vietnamese “Pho” (Linh’s Bistro on Airway Dr. offers “Pho” but you’ll have to ask me in person where to find the other two delicacies.) Looking for people to do what I do is fun, challenging, and definitely has its perks.