What did you study while you were at Ball State?
While I attended Ball State University I majored in Business my freshman year with a minor in Spanish. I have always wanted to do something with language but at the beginning of my college adventure, I was discouraged. I thought that I would not be able to find something with that type of degree. I was wrong and I am glad I went with something I enjoy doing.
After my freshman year, I thought it over and switched my major to Spanish Cultural Studies and Linguistics with a minor in English Linguistics. I love language and all that it stands for and have ever since I was young. I have parents that were born in Mexico so their English was not the best, so at a young age, I was translating as best as I could. I am bilingual, I learned Spanish first and then in kindergarten, I started learning English. I told myself when I graduated high school that I wanted to be an interpreter, either for the judicial system or the hospital.
What is your career now? How did you adjust to starting a career during this pandemic?
After graduating from Ball State University in May of 2020, I was offered a position at the Anderson City Court as their Spanish Interpreter. I did graduate right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, so the rest of my senior year was remote only and I was not able to attend my ceremony. My position at the courthouse started June 22, 2020, and we were only having small sessions of court. I was grateful that this occupation was given to me because it had my name written all over it.
What does a typical week in your position look like?
Court sessions start at 9:00 a.m. every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. Court sessions on Wednesdays start at 3:00 p.m. and on Thursdays, I do not have court. Typically my days are eventful, I see a lot of different cases especially throughout the 11 months that I have worked at the courthouse. I have the title of Spanish Interpreter, but during court, I am also the court recorder. I check people in, so I ask them for important information and put it in our system. I also log everything that the Judge and Defendant say while the court is in session. When a Defendant is Hispanic, I make sure they know their charges and have their paperwork translated so they can read through it and understand their rights. If a Defendant pleads guilty I work with the Prosecutor and explain what they are pleading to along with their probation and their fines and costs.
What are the most valuable skills you learned at Ball State?
There are many valuable skills I learned at Ball State, and that is because of my wonderful professors. They taught me to step out of my comfort zone, and they all encouraged me to go with my dreams and help those that need me. My career makes me happy, and I was destined to do this. I have done it since I was young but now it means something to me. It always has but now I feel helpful. I was too young back then so I barely knew what I know now.
How are the skills you learned as a Spanish student relevant to your career and life today?
The skills I learned as a Spanish student are definitely what molded me to thrive in the career I have. I learned that language is important, it helps us communicate our thoughts. Language is vital for our communication, to some people that’s what makes them feel out of place, sometimes they feel like they can’t be themselves so that’s where I step in. I make sure the Defendants know that they can ask whatever they want and get the answers they need. Ball State taught me that helping people is what is most important.
What is your advice to other Humanities students?
One thing I would want any Humanities student to know is never feel discouraged. Do something you love, help those that need you. Be someone YOU want to be, not what someone wants you to be. Do what makes you happy and what you know you’re good at but never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. You can be whatever you want to be. If you ever feel discouraged, just know in the end what you do in life should only matter to you