From Admin to Interpretation: Career Journey of Viviana Bernabe, Director of Global Interpretation

welocalize May 19, 2021

As Welocalize’s Director of Global Interpretation, Viviana Bernabe, works closely with international brands helping them to communicate with their multilingual audiences and leverage the value of spoken word interactions. However, like many others, Viviana’s career in language services was unexpected.

Based in Portland, Oregon (US), Viviana’s career journey is a wonderful example of how far you can go when you embrace and say ‘yes’ to opportunities that come your way.

In this blog, Viviana shares her thoughts and experiences of her career story and progression.


From the Music Industry to Language Services 

Viviana’s background is in Audio Engineering & Sound Design. Her first major job out of school was developing and managing music artists in Los Angeles. Representing music artists and bands, she developed their social media presence to engage their fan base.

Like many people, she landed in the language industry entirely by chance in 2009. Having just relocated closer to family in Orange County, California, she no longer wanted to commute 4 hours every day, so took a job at Global Language Solutions (GLS – later acquired by Welocalize) in Aliso Viejo, CA.

12 years later, Viviana is still with Welocalize.

The Beginning 

Viviana started at GLS as an Administrative Assistant screening calls, helping Project Managers with client deliverables, and issuing supplier POs. At the time, it was a small office with around 12 employees, and it allowed Viviana to experience multiple job functions within localization. A few months later, her friendly personality was noticed by the VP of Sales, and Viviana got the chance to change roles and manage a few accounts that had potential to grow. While this was an exciting move, the position eventually became focused entirely on new business which wasn’t an area that Viviana saw her career continuing to develop in.

Project Management Life 

The next stop in Viviana’s career journey was Project Coordination – assisting Project Managers with booking talent for translation and interpreting projects. Through a time of exponential growth for GLS, new opportunities came quickly!  Viviana soon became a Junior Project Manager, managing 10+ projects a day for a program that had over 80 target languages.

Career Development 

Over time, Viviana was exposed to a wider range of projects and clients and as the company continued to grow, more opportunities came along. She became a Senior Project Manager and took on a team leadership role within her previous 80-language program team.

This was the first time I had a chance to build something, so Itook the initiative todevelop quality guidelines, training material, and tackled overall process harmonization for a rapidly growing team.At one point I was leading a team of 20+ PMs based in five countries, across six time zones. With data backing up my direct contribution and program ROI,I put myself forward for a Production Manager role, knowing that I was already performing at that level, says Viviana.

After the acquisition of GLS by Welocalize, Viviana changed her focus and moved from the specialist life sciences team, over to the localization team. There she took over a growing localization program for a major tech company.

I immersed myself into an unknown world of continuous localization, with automation, connectors, and query boards. Ourcustomers werejust as, if not more, knowledgeable about localization than me.It was one of my favorite experiences within my career because it challenged and humbled me regularly. To this day, I am gratefultoall my Welocalize mentors thathelpedmeadaptand let me ask 1000 questions a dayto figure everythingout, says Viviana.


Viviana’s ability to find solutions, take on new challenges, and deliver great results has been noticed and she quickly built an excellent reputation for herself within Welocalize. When the Interpreting department needed a new leader in 2019, Viviana was the perfect choice!

I amreally excitedabout the directionof our interpreting team!We have an amazing group of passionate individuals whomake sure we always do our best and continuously help each other grow.I am involved in industry working groups tostay on top of trends and I share the knowledge I have been able toacquire with others who are equally as enthusiastic about the trajectory of interpreting asan industry., says Viviana.

12 years later, Viviana’s journey with Welocalize is continuing to progress, helping international brands with their interpreting needs to maximize global business and deliver a relevant, authentic user experience (UX).

Find out more about how interpreting can enhance global UX and brand engagement here.

What I like most about Welocalize is opportunity. If you are willing to goabove and beyondandcanfind ways topositivelyimpactour clients,colleagues, and processes – doors will open. If you want it,roll up your sleevesand take it, says Viviana.

The Welocalize interpreting team is always on the lookout for great interpreters to work with. Find our latest job openings here.

For more information on Welocalize translation, localization, and interpretation services, connect with us here.