Aleksandra (Sasha) Manucharova

Aleksandra (Sasha) Manucharova

Student Support Officer, UP International College
Graduate Certificate in Arts in Interpreting

Studying interpreting was an obvious choice for Aleksandra (Sasha) Manucharova who came to AUT to study a Graduate Certificate in Arts in Interpreting.

“I’ve been working as an interpreter and translator since 2009 in Russia and in China, and I felt very lucky to get a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) scholarship to study interpreting. I decided to come to AUT because it’s an innovative and growing university, and my husband studied here too.”

This was her third time pursuing tertiary study, she says, and she appreciated the flexibility and the opportunities to become involved in extracurricular professional development activities.

“I enjoyed the lectures, practical workshops and – I can’t believe I’m saying this – the homework. Our rich and informative lectures were spiced up with some unforgettable stories from Professor Ineke Crezee. The extremely engaging practical workshops really built our confidence as interpreters. Looking back on our assignments, I can see that the volume, consistency and specific style of our homework transferred broad theoretical knowledge into real-world practice.”

Supporting international students
As a student support officer at UP International College, she enjoys applying her understanding of interpreting to help international students enjoy their time in Auckland.

“I help international students settle into their student life in New Zealand, and my interpreting skills are a valuable asset in this role. It's my first full-time job in New Zealand and it means a lot to me.”

As an interpreter, you’re privileged to meet people from different walks of life and learn fascinating things about something you might never have thought about, she says.

“It’s challenging, creative and never the same. You have to be resourceful with your vocabulary, understanding, terminology, and the environment. You need to think on the spot and you have to think fast. You have to make ethical decisions and reflect on your own performance all the time. You also get the intellectual pleasure of working at the cross-section of language, culture and being creative with words.”

Advice for other students
Sasha – who graduated from AUT at the end of 2023 – has some good advice for other students who are only at the start of their university journey.

“Be honest enough with yourself to see your limits, but brave enough to challenge them. That doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything especially difficult or terrifying; it could be quite ordinary like turning up to class every day.”

She says she would definitely recommend the Graduate Certificate in Arts to other students who happen to deal with languages, interpreting or translation in their life.

“Some people are being interpreters without thinking or knowing about interpreting as a career, as a skill, as an art. This programme can be extremely engaging and eye opening for people who have had the experience of being ‘ad hoc’ interpreters for their friends, family or work.”