The first online CIOL BPG Division event took place on 20 November. The aim of the event was to showcase the use of languages in the world of work. There were four speakers: Judith Gabler, Sally Fagan, Jeremy (surname deliberately withheld) and Christine Adamson, all of whom filled our screens and minds with lively talks, photos, and presentations relating to their various careers. The event was ably moderated by Vasiliki Prestidge.
Judith Gabler FCIL, CL, is the Chair of CIOL and the first Chair to live and work outside the UK! Judith described her journey from a comprehensive school in Blackburn, Lancashire where her teachers thought that her strong regional accent might hold her back (!) before obtaining a BA in French with German and a BSc in Real Estate and Property Management. She is currently the Director of Operations Europe for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in Frankfurt.
Sally Fagan gained a BSc Hons in Languages and went on to become the Director of Rendez-vous Management Consultancy – a company which assists organisations and individuals to improve their international communications. She is also the Director of Business Language Champions (BLC) which is an organisation linking schools and businesses in order to promote languages and cultural understanding and to raise pupils’ awareness of opportunities in careers with languages. In fact, BLC have booked me for a school’s online language careers event on 9th January to talk about combining legal and language skills.
The other two speakers are both employed by the Ministry of Defence and interestingly both are mid-life career changers. Firstly, Jeremy who is currently serving in the RAF and who has a BSc in Modern Languages. Jeremy worked in various education and IT finance roles before having a major career change when he joined the RAF where he has clocked up 17 years as a Weapons Systems Operator (Linguist) having learnt Arabic, Pashtu and more recently, Russian, all from scratch! Christine Adamson obtained a BA in French and German with Economics and later on Certificates in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) and the DipTrans. She worked in a number of roles whilst bringing up her children before joining the teaching staff at the Royal College of Defence Studies in 2016.
The event shouted out “This is what you can do with languages!”. All of the Speakers were truly inspirational and it was interesting to see where their language qualifications had eventually taken them. Somebody (probably Sally Fagan for one) should be showing recordings of this event everywhere where there is an interest in careers with languages in business and at every educational establishment where modern languages departments’ existence is currently being threatened!
The aim of the BPG Division's online event is to show how languages can be used in so many ways in the world of business, whether it be industry or commerce, in education, or in military and peacekeeping situations with speakers who are active in each of those sectors.
We are delighted to have the following speakers: a representative from the RAF, the director of Business Language Champions, a representative from the Ministry of Defence and our very own Chair of Council and RICS Director of Operations.
2.00pm – 2.05pm Welcome
2.05pm – 2.25pm Judith Gabler and Q&A
2.25pm – 2.45pm Jeremy and Q&A
2.45pm – 3.05pm Sally Fagan and Q&A
3.05pm – 3.25pm Christine Adamson and Q&A
3.30pm – Closing