"Find mentors. This field is constantly changing, so it’s advantageous to have someone who’s been in it for a while to help answer any questions you might not learn in class."
Hear Camryn talk about her current job for interpreting phone calls for deaf people, as well as advice for anyone interested in ASL!
Here's Camryn, taking calls at Purple Communications!
My career roadmap has been somewhat defined.
I decided what I wanted to do my sophomore year of high school.
I became fluent in American Sign Language.
Applied for and was accepted to CSUN’s revered interpreting program (only 20 of around 500 applicants are chosen).
Straight A’s my first year.
I took on an interpreting internship at CSUN.
I passed the Interpreter Certification Exam.
I graduated Summa Cum Laude from CSUN’s Interpreter Education Program in 2019.
I work for Sorenson Communications where I interpret phone calls part time. Primarily the work I do now is community interpreting work through Sorenson, which just means I do more face to face work now rather than being on the phones.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Attending weekly Deaf events
Interpreting workshops to develop specialized skills
American Sign Language Club
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
Volunteer interpreting program
Unpaid internship at CSUN
Attended weekly Deaf events
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
I graduated Summa Cum Laude from CSUN’s Interpreter Education Program in 2019. Shortly after, I began in the field with part-time freelance work. Currently, I’m working as an ASL interpreter for Purple Video Relay Service where I interpret phone calls for individuals who use sign language to communicate. My end goal is to become a K-12 interpreter. I love working with kids, which is why I will be going back to school to pursue my Master’s in Sociology so I can be a Social Worker or School Therapist. I still plan to use my knowledge of ASL to open myself up to a more broad audience of students, both hearing and Deaf.
How to maximize my time in high school?
Advice #1: Go to Deaf events! This is the only way you can achieve mastery in a language, by socializing with the people who use it.
Advice #2: Make friends in your class (you’ll be seeing them throughout your college career and your professional career, so it’s wise to make friends)
Advice #3: Practice outside of class. You can’t learn to use a language if you only use it in class. Start with songs or Ted Talks just to keep everything fresh.
Advice #4: Find mentors. This field is constantly changing, so it’s advantageous to have someone who’s been in it for a while to help answer any questions you might not learn in class.
Advice #5: Know that this is what you want to do. It’s a huge commitment and physically and emotionally taxing. I’m already exploring my other career path with kids because the rate of burnout in this profession is high. Make sure you find a balance.