Karliah McGregor

Karliah McGregor

New Zealand Sign Language Interpreter
Bachelor of Arts in New Zealand Sign Language – English Interpreting

She had long wanted to work with the Deaf community, says Karliah McGregor who studied a Bachelor of Arts in New Zealand Sign Language – English Interpreting.

“I was especially interested in working as an educational interpreter. I began looking into how to become a qualified interpreter which led me to looking into studying at AUT. I really liked AUT’s promotional video about the degree as well as the idea that I wouldn’t only learn New Zealand Sign Language and how to become an interpreter, but also about Deaf culture.”

There were many highlights for Karliah throughout her studies.

“During my time as a student I felt that AUT was constantly working with students and looking for ways to engage with us.

“The most significant highlight for me was learning about Deaf culture, which led to me having a greater awareness of my own identity as a child of a Deaf adult (a Coda). I grew up naturally influenced by Deaf culture but had never been able to identify it. Being able to finally learn about it has helped me better understand myself and the way Deaf culture has shaped me as a person.”

Making a difference for Deaf students
After graduating in 2018, Karliah now works as a New Zealand Sign Language interpreter, splitting her time between interpreting for Deaf students at AUT and interpreting in other education settings.

“My job mainly involves interpreting lectures for Deaf students at AUT, as well as interpreting when they’re engaging with the lecturers or classmates. Occasionally I also interpret for meetings between them and AUT staff, and during group work sessions outside of class.

“Interpreting for lectures often involves quite challenging topics so I prepare for each class to ensure I’m as prepared as possible for what may come up. AUT is great at ensuring this prep is available, which in turn enables me to do better for the students I’m interpreting for.”

She loves being able to make a difference to Deaf students.

“I really love working with Deaf students, as well as the challenge that comes with interpreting for various papers and topics. I get to learn so much from all the different papers, which is really cool. I also feel so lucky to work with such a great team who have all been very supportive of me.”

Advice for other students
Karliah’s advice for other students is simple – just go for it.

“At first, I was very nervous and unsure of my choice of degree and becoming a university student but I’m so glad I made that decision to study at AUT.

“Being a student doesn’t last forever, although it will feel like it does sometimes. So just enjoy it and learn as much as you can while you’re here.”

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