Alejandra González's Professional Journey: Translations, Interpreting, Bilingual Advocacy, and Training

  • 04/03/2019
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Alejandra González's Professional Journey: Translations, Interpreting, Bilingual Advocacy, and Training

Alejandra González has been a dedicated member of the Vandu Languages team for over 11 years. Throughout this period, she has undertaken various roles, currently contributing to tasks related to our translations, training, and human resources departments.

Alejandra’s career progression can serve as an inspiration for professionals in the language services industry or multilingual individuals seeking to start a career in a new country while using their native language skills.

If this resonates with you, or if you're simply curious, please stay tuned to read her story and consider sharing it with someone who could benefit. 

We will expand into her career path and background, explore the various roles she has undertaken at Vandu Languages, and extend an invitation to our upcoming Annual Conference at Lewes Town Hall on March 6th, 2024.


Career Path and Background

Alejandra earned an International Secretarial and PA Diploma at Maria Borkowska College in Madrid, Spain, in 1993. She initially worked as a personal assistant in her home country before moving to Ireland to enhance her English skills.

“I planned to stay for a year, and in the end, I stayed for eight years” Alejandra commented “I didn’t want to leave until I had notable work experience”. 

After working in catering, she enrolled in IT and HR management courses, leading to a position in a multinational shipping company (UPS). She progressed from a customer service representative to a trainer for the Spanish team, eventually becoming a Human Resources Recruiter and Compensations and Benefits Officer.

“I did move around a little bit within that organisation, and that gave me the skills within administration, customer services, languages, training and human resources”.

Returning to Spain, Alejandra worked as a senior PA in an international law firm until her marriage prompted a move to her husband’s home country, the UK.


Role at Vandu Languages

Upon arriving in England, Alejandra encountered challenges common to individuals migrating to another country: the uncertainty of adapting to a new place and the search for a fulfilling job.

This circumstance prompted her to seek opportunities where she could apply her language skills, leading her to the successful completion of our Community Interpreting Course in 2011.

“I did it first as something to add to my skills. I wasn’t sure if there was going to be enough demand for me in that area, but I thought it was a good opportunity to enter the market here [in the UK] with something I know, which is my own language and English.”

She started as a Spanish interpreter for Vandu. However, it wasn't until a few months later that she crossed paths with Mebrak Ghebreweldi, the founder of Vandu Languages and Diversity Resource International (DRI), during a meeting with the NHS and other interpreters. 

At that time, Vandu was in the process of recruiting a new team member to contribute to the administration of the company, and Alejandra's skills immediately stood out as an excellent fit.

"I started part-time, and eventually transitioned to full-time, looking after the interpreting desk. From the interpreting desk, I moved to the translation desk, and from there I moved to bilingual advocacy support."

Currently, Alejandra oversees the human resources department, the translations desk, projects relating to bilingual advocacy and the coordination of the Community Interpreting Level 3 course.


Translations Desk

Commencing her journey as an Interpreter in 2011 and progressing to her current position as Translations Coordinator, Alejandra follows a consistent process to handle daily requests:



With over a decade of expertise, Alejandra addressed a common client question, “Why does my document need proofreading?”, in our blog, “Lost in Translation: The Business Impact of Proofreading in Translation Services.”


Current Projects

Alejandra’s dedication to community service has driven her to extend her responsibilities beyond the Translations department.

She adeptly manages a range of projects at Vandu Languages, with two notable ones being Informal Mental Health Support for Ethnic Minorities and the recruiting of new linguists for the Interpreting and Translations Desks. She also coordinates the Level 3 Community Interpreting Course run by DRI.


Informal Mental Health Support for Ethnic Minorities

“East Sussex County Council funded this project to support ethnic minorities, to prevent the development of mental health problems” explains Alejandra. 

For communities, this service comes at no cost and is provided by Vandu Languages' bilingual advocates at the request of East Sussex County Council.

The distinctive nature of this project yields tangible benefits for all stakeholders: ESCC gains distinction by offering high-demand services to the community, showcasing their commitment to enhancing the lives of developing populations; community members enjoy free access to psychological support in their native language; and bilingual advocates acquire valuable experience and training by assisting individuals in need of support.

A woman from Syria who has been receiving mental health support through this project commented:

“I had a really difficult time. Sometimes, I would feel really upset because I didn’t have any support. I needed someone to talk to for my mental health.”

Level 3 Community Interpreting Course

DRI has been offering the Community Interpreting Course for over a decade. As mentioned above, Alejandra's initial involvement with our company began as a student of this course. Today, Alejandra manages the administrative processes for it, helping individuals become qualified interpreters and providing opportunities for career advancement.

The upcoming course is scheduled to commence in March 2024, and applications are currently open for individuals fluent in English and another language.

By obtaining qualification as an interpreter, you can play a crucial role in assisting individuals in minority communities to access public services, specialise in various sectors, and be your own boss with flexible working hours – all while earning over double the National Living Wage and leveraging your language and cultural expertise.

“The Community Interpreting course is a way of developing yourself while supporting others” says Alejandra “From there, a lot of our interpreters have moved up, some of them have continued to a higher level of training for that career, such as DPSI, and others have gone into working for the public and private sectors alike”. 



The Highlights of Working at Vandu Languages and DRI

As a valued and enduring member of our team, Alejandra has played important roles in the growth of Vandu Languages over the years, leaving an indelible mark on our recent history. Her insights and reflections on her experience within our organisation are captured in the following comments:

“What I really enjoy at Vandu is supporting people from ethnic minorities, To show them that the opportunity for self-development is there, even starting from the bottom -like I did-. Empowering them with the necessary tools to fight for their rights and their own development, while helping the communities where they live” Alejandra shared.

“Vandu gives their staff opportunities for growth through the different services we provide, such as bilingual advocacy, interpreting, translations, cultural awareness training, etc. Therefore, you not only can develop your own skills but support others in their own development”.



You Are Invited to our Annual Conference

Save the date for Vandu Languages' and Diversity Resource International’s Annual Conference 2024 on March 6th at Lewes Town Hall!

This presents a unique opportunity to delve deeper into our organisation’s mission and values. More significantly, it's a platform for you to express your perspectives on matters crucial to our local communities, academic institutions, and both public and private organisations.

The conference will explore the effectiveness of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Training, encouraging discussions led by distinguished guest speakers, engaging conversations on our new initiatives and ideas, and an open forum for questions and opinions.

After 6:00 pm, we will open the space for networking opportunities and a delicious buffet.

We aim to unite valued customers, associates, staff, statutory and local organisations, universities, and community members for positively disruptive conversations and reflections that can ultimately impact organisational culture.

While open to all, we kindly request confirming attendance through Eventbrite.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

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