Localization spotlight: Fia’s story

By the Blueprint Team

My Blueprint Story started with meeting one special woman by chance who would eventually become my friend and mentor. At a low point in my life, when I felt my prospects for professional success were bleak and I needed someone to guide me in the right direction, we found each other.

A couple of months before I met her, in September 2016, the U.S. Navy transferred my husband from Florida to a small town on Whidbey Island, Washington. Military life is such that sometimes the service member and the family have to drop everything and start anew in a new place, on command. All you can do is have a positive attitude about it, trust each other, and be as adaptable as you can to the ever-changing world around you.

While the service member has a job, a purpose, colleagues, and friends, the spouse sometimes doesn’t, especially after relocating to a new place. As a social person who always wants to contribute to a greater goal, I struggled to find meaning in my new town. Its website mentions a couple of popular activities among tourists, one of which is to “enjoy the quietness of watching eagles soar.” When you’re 21, that can be a bit boring. Though there was not much opportunity in this rural town, I visited almost every store and restaurant and gave out my resume in hopes that they would have a position for me. The peak of my job-hunting disappointment came when I was told that I was unqualified to be a cashier at a shoe store.

This was particularly disheartening because I studied in the best Ukrainian universities and had a lot of connections. Ukraine has a great deal of opportunities in the non-profit sector, and I was poised to take advantage of those opportunities by constantly accepting internships, volunteering, and striving to help others. At this point, I had to forget about my Ukrainian past and try my best to accept my new American reality.

In January of 2017, my husband was preparing to deploy to Japan. It was at that moment I realized that I had no other support. All of my friends were back home in Ukraine or in Florida and I couldn’t imagine staying alone in this small town, doing nothing. I was preparing to embrace change once again and take the risk of moving by myself to a place I didn’t know. While looking for a room closer to Seattle, I noticed a single post on the Ukrainian community Facebook group from someone looking for a roommate. At that moment my luck began to change!

Oksana was sympathetic to my situation and took me in, almost like her own daughter. I had limited resources, so she gave me rides to interviews. I didn’t have a community, so she included me in hers: weekends in Seattle, relaxing at the beach in Edmonds, clam-hunting, Ukrainian gatherings, and much more. She even gave me holiday presents and at that time we became so close that I began calling her my American mom.

In February of 2017, my American mom referred me to Blueprint. Because of my recent bad luck finding a job, my hopes were diminished, but at the same time, I was excited about a new possibility.

On May 8, 2017, I spent my first day with Blueprint and celebrated the 3rd anniversary of moving to the United States. I had heard many stories of military spouses say that companies were reluctant to hire them because of the likelihood of them leaving when their service members must move. I was open with Blueprint’s recruiters about my husband’s occupation, and they still made the decision to hire me, which made me appreciate the company even more.

In stark contrast to my small-town life, I began feeling valued again, I gained a whole new perspective and also made a couple of very close friends. I could see how my fellow employees embodied the values of Blueprint and the culture of helping others was palpable. This was why Oksana referred me. It was also why I and so many others didn’t feel much stress at work; we knew we could count on one another in times of need. I met a lot of great people I wouldn’t have met otherwise, people whom I’m still in contact with and who will be friends for life.

During my first Thanksgiving with Blueprint, I learned the true meaning of the Blueprint family. Spending the holiday at work with a circle of close friends who had become family was heartwarming, leaving a wonderful feeling of belonging. Just as every potluck with homemade dishes, every birthday, and every promotion celebration, that Thanksgiving deepened the sense of a strong Blueprint community.

On my birthday in 2019,  my long-time dream came true – I became a translator. How did it become my dream? I’d like to invite you to travel back in time with me.

Back in the fall of 2005, I was in 5th grade. I lived in a small village in Ukraine, and I was preparing for an English language contest. One of the tasks was to write and memorize 15–20 paragraphs on different topics. For the topic of my dream occupation, I wrote about being a translator. In the process of researching this occupation, I discovered so many possibilities that it indeed became my dream. Among those were meeting new people, traveling the world, and reading words in the languages they were written in.

Flash forward to today. After starting in the Localization team, I came across even more advantages. When I do research for work, I get to learn about topics ranging from battleships to fancy alcohol. Every day brings something new! I also improve both my English and my native language constantly. That’s the beauty of self-growth that comes with being a Localization specialist.

Another thing I love about my job is the intercultural setting. In that atmosphere of constant learning, we listen to each other, we grow together and apply our knowledge from different cultural perspectives, which enhances creative problem solving and critical thinking.

I quickly realized how beneficial the multicultural environment was when being exposed to new cultures, learning new languages, and celebrating holidays almost every day! German St. Nikolaus brings candies on December 6th while Ukrainian St. Nikolaus brings sweets on December 19th. Russian Grandpa Frost brings gifts on New Year Eve, and then children dress in costumes and walk from house to house singing songs and getting treats and money on January 6th (The Three King’s Day, celebrated in Spain and Latin America). We don’t follow the original tradition of celebrating the January 6th holidays on the Localization team yet, but we might start!

Even when the future seemed uncertain and hopes were low, everything, from moving to the U.S. and Washington, to meeting Oksana and starting a job at Blueprint, has led me to a present that I couldn’t even have dreamt of. Blueprint has changed my life completely. I praise God for bringing me to this company and I cannot express enough gratitude to Oksana, my husband, my closest BP friends and the rest of my big Blueprint family for providing me with support, joy, and peace of mind!

Blueprint Localization is always looking for talented people, check out our open positions to learn more.

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