Moravia is well known for recruiting and retaining the best talent in the localization industry, so our “People in Production” series is our way of providing a little more insight into the individual people and roles on our team. I recently interviewed Morgan Gallup, a Project Manager for one of Moravia’s largest accounts, to understand what her work is like, what her background is, and what she likes about our industry.
Me: To start, tell us a little about you!
Morgan: I was born in Howell, Michigan and grew up on a Christmas tree farm. I moved to Chicago for University and (long story short) double majored in Chinese Studies and Business Admin. I was the first Chinese Studies major at Depaul University in Chicago. I came to China as a student and I stayed. Now I live in a 20-story building in an apartment complex in Nanjing, China. My district is filled with construction: new restaurants, cafes and complexes seem to pop up out of nowhere.
Me: How/when/why did you move to China?
Morgan: I started studying Mandarin Chinese my first year of university and was intrigued by the characters, stories and history. During my second year I was awarded a US government scholarship to attend an intensive semester language course at the “Harvard of China” – Beijing University. After I finished my degree I was awarded a scholarship from the Chinese government to continue studying Chinese at Nanjing University. I’ve found many unique learning and career opportunities in China. So, working here has been an adventure.
Me: How did you end up in the localization industry?
Morgan: I found Moravia IT online when searching for companies in Nanjing. Then I started researching localization and the industry. I believe Moravia has a bright future and so I joined up. But I’m just a newbie – I’ve only been in localization for a year and a half.
Me: What is your role at Moravia?
Morgan: My personal view of my responsibilities is that of a puzzle solver and bridge builder. As a Project Manager who handles localization and testing projects for a major client, my days can be pretty diverse. I normally deal with special requests from the customer, working to establish or improve our team’s process and helping my team with issues they meet during the day. For those teams I handle scheduling and finance, resolve performance issues and act as the main contact point for the US customer. An interesting part of being on a “follow the sun” team is working closely with American and Argentinian team members to plan and implement global team initiatives.
Me: What do you do when you are not working?
Morgan: I definitely have the travel bug. I’ve travelled to India, Japan, Cambodia, Germany, Lithuania, Vietnam, Taiwan and dozens of cities in China. Remembering the complexity and diversity of the world always refreshes me. I feel relaxed and peaceful in airports. When I’m not traveling, I love to explore China’s restaurants. I guess you could say I’m a bit of a “foodie.” When I first came to China I was surprised by the regional diversity of food here. What we think of in the States as “Chinese” food normally doesn’t even come close. I make an effort to try a new restaurant once or twice a month with friends.
Me: What do you find challenging about your career?
Morgan: Living in a foreign culture, you meet and work with people who have very different ways of seeing and interacting with the world than you do. Over time you really start to question most things in your life – why do you do things in a certain way, have certain preferences or communicate in a certain way. You are challenged to question your core beliefs and this can be frustrating at certain stages of your life. I feel lucky that challenging myself in this way has resulted in tremendous personal growth. I like that we’re in an industry where there’s always something new to learn.
Me: Well, that is so true. I learn something every day. What would you say to someone who is just starting to work in the localization industry, in your role? What are the keys to professional success?
Morgan: I would say not to accept anything inherited as the “best.” In localization, as in most IT-related industries, the tools out there are improving so quickly. Always be looking around for the newest and best which might improve your team’s productivity.
Have you ever lived and worked outside your “home” country? What did you find most rewarding or challenging, and what were the keys to your professional success?