E X C L U S I V E I N T E R V I E W W I T H O L G A M A G U R S K A
Olga Magurska, 29 years old, Warsaw, Global Product Manager of Customer Services in Lionbridge Gaming.
How did you get to what you are doing, and what led you to do it? Why did you come to Lionbridge?
Actually, by a total accident. I graduated in English and French, so I always knew, that I want to work in communication, but it was Lionbridge, that opened the localization path for me. Lionbridge is a well-known company with a worldwide reach, and it is an excellent place to start a career, and as it later turned out, also to develop one.
How would you best describe what you are currently doing and what you would like to achieve?
I am managing the department that is entirely focused on players‘ communities and services dedicated to them. We are making sure that the voice of our customers‘ players is being heard and that they feel engaged in the process of games development. I have taken over the position just recently, so my biggest ambition is to expand our services to cover all the possible areas of player support and community services.
How has Lionbridge changed since you joined?
Since I joined, Lionbridge grew a lot, not only in new services or by entering new markets, but also in the approach to its employees. Over those years, the company created a safe workplace, for self-development and only for the living.
Has your role changed since you’ve been here?
Yes! It changed a lot! I started on a junior position in the coordination of localization resources. I ended up as a manager of an operations department—a huge jump, which only confirms the opportunities that Lionbridge provides to its employees.
What do the day-to-day responsibilities of your role look like?
Well, as a manager, I am working full-out to keep the department working. Daily I am cooperating with Sales to establish relationships with customers and respond to their needs, I am planning and maintaining projects, as well as building a freelance team and managing their work on services we are providing. The most exciting thing about the position is that you never know what waits for you in a mailbox the next day, just because Gaming is such a dynamic industry and new opportunities of cooperation are popping out all the time. There are, of course, less exciting responsibilities like keeping finances and all the paperwork, but without them, it would be just too perfect.
Where do you see Lionbridge in the next few years?
In the next few years, I see Lionbridge as the most significant player on the Gaming Localization and Testing market.
What can you tell me about Lionbridge‘s plans?
Lionbridge is the preferred partner for companies with a global mindset trying to scale and grow in multiple markets. We continue to invest in the success of the global gaming industry, most recently adding mobile testing capabilities via our acquisition of QUASU. Our team is full of passionate gamers, so it’s a labour of love working with the leading game studios and publishers to bring these games to all markets.
What’s your favourite part about working at Lionbridge?
My favourite part of working in Lionbridge are people and the internal community that we are creating. It feels good when you can see how many passionate people and teams are working together, putting all their efforts, to achieve a common goal. Observing this is motivating you to give even more from yourself, and the best part is that you can feel appreciated for this. Once you have proven yourself as a specialist here, you are being treated as one, and this is what empowers me to think
What attributes does someone need to have to be successful in Lionbridge?
At Lionbridge, we take our mission seriously – We break barriers and build bridges for our customers, and their customers. I think to be successful at Lionbridge, you need to have an entrepreneurial spirit, curious mind, and the creativity to find solutions that make our customers successful.
Are there opportunities for professional development? If so, what do those look like?
Yes, many people here had a love of language and studied that in university, and then took that knowledge and applied it to different roles, whether operations, sales, technology, marketing, etc. There are many opportunities to continue to learn and develop as you advance your career. Many senior leaders have been Lions for 10 or 20 years, starting here and rising through the ranks.
How would you describe the work environment here— is the work typically collaborative or more independent?
In Lionbridge, it is all about the teamwork because we can see that this pays off in ingenuity, diversity and joint efforts of people with a different skillset.
What’s Lionbridge’s team culture like?
The very nature of our work is collaborative. We have teams working together from almost 30 countries on behalf of our customers pretty much around the clock. There are testers in Warsaw working with project managers in Beijing with a salesperson in Ireland. It’s global, it’s fun, and we are always learning from each other. Even as we have all had to work from home for some or all of this year, all the teams have come together to ensure we haven’t missed any deadlines or deliverables. It’s been both challenging and exciting to figure out this new normal.
What’s the dress code like?
Oh, it is casual. We are low-key forbidden to wear formal clothes if there is not an occasion for this.
What activities do you offer for employees?
Lionbridge has a wide range of activities — unique to each of our offices — and available for employees, ranging from gardening clubs to run clubs, biking clubs, social event committees, volunteer opportunities, holiday celebrations, and more! One great example is iWILL, Women in Lionbridge Leadership. This is an exciting initiative based out of our Mumbai office that focuses on mentorship and the career advancement of women in our organization.
Can you tell me about the last team event you did together?
Before Covid-19 we had our quarterly All Hands meeting where all the Warsaw Gaming teams met in a cinema to present what they achieved in the last quarter, what they are up to for a next one, and to watch a movie together.
Do you ever do joint events with other companies or departments?
Yes, our representatives are present at all the biggest and most significant gaming events all around the world.
"My favourite part of working in Lionbridge are people..."
Does Lionbridge give back to the community? In what ways?
One new way we give back is with our volunteer day. You can have a day off to volunteer in your community in any way that speaks to you personally. My colleagues have done everything from clothing drives to planting gardens. Lionbridge also partners with both Translators Without Borders, a great nonprofit that offers language support for humanitarian efforts, and Women in Localization, a global community, focused on the advancement and mentorship of women in the industry. During the pandemic, Lionbridge and our linguists provided pro bono translation assistance in 39 languages to help jumpstart Perfect Strangers, and a nonprofit focused on enlisting volunteers to deliver groceries and medicine to high-risk individuals safely. And we offered our clients free interpretation and translation to help them communicate with their global teams and keep them safe. Many of our offices have local volunteer opportunities as well, from building houses to reading to kids.
What was the department’s most significant challenge last year, and what did you learn from it?
The most significant challenge was introducing a new service, which we had to learn how to manage on live projects properly. When you are planning something on paper, you cannot predict whether it will fully align with the reality of project management and you need to be prepared to make some last-minute adjustments or improvements to deliver what is expected from you. I have learned from this experience that nothing is impossible, and you can find a solution to every problem on your way if you are staying creative, open-minded and focused on your goal.
What was the last significant achievement that was celebrated?
We delivered a Crowd Beta Test project for a vast number of testers, and we celebrated this success because this is a service that we introduced recently. We were able to scale and build a strong community of beta testers that met the needs of our client.
What continuing learning opportunities do you have for your employees?
Lionbridge has an online training platform that has courses on everything from project management to leadership development. There are lots of courses on there to continue learning, even while remote. There have also been webinars with external professionals like doctors and professors who guide ways to navigate the global pandemic to keep our global team safe and healthy.
I’ve read about the Lionbridge’s founding, but can you tell me more about it?
The founder of Lionbridge saw the digital future – where software, web sites, and mobile devices would be used all around the world. Most translation companies back in those days just did the text for books and magazines. But making multimedia and digital applications and games work around the globe is very different than just translating texts. So he bought a few companies and put them together to marry those specialities, and that’s how Lionbridge was born. Since then, we have been the world leader in helping our customers meet the unique needs of their customers in every market they operate.
As the world of artificial intelligence and algorithms has grown, Lionbridge has been at the forefront in helping those companies as well. Search engines. Devices with voice and speech recognition. Self-driving cars. All of those systems and more rely on vast pools of data – and the data must be super high quality. Lionbridge experts and our 1 million strong SmartCrowd are the humans in that loop. We help get the data ready to train those systems, and we test and rate the output of those systems so that companies can make them work better.
Most people don’t know that the language industry was one of the first to use AI — way back to the 1950s believe it or not – and so it’s a natural extension of our expertise in both language and large global projects spanning many markets and languages and cultures.
How does Lionbridge impact International business?
For more than 20 years, we have helped companies connect with global customers by delivering marketing, testing and globalization services in more than 350 languages. We have a network of one million passionate experts in 5,000-plus cities who help us create culturally rich experiences, like in my role, Gaming. Essentially, we help you bring your game, company, product, anything, to any market where you have – or want – – customers.
What are the current goals that your team at Lionbridge is focused on, and how does your teamwork support hitting those goals?
The current goals of my team are expanding the reach of Customer Services to all Gaming markets, customers and players. The whole team is working hard on planning the efforts, researching markets and building a knowledge base to provide only the most professional level of services.
What are the key advantages and disadvantages of international cooperation on this scale of business?
The key advantage for me is, of course, the possibility to communicate and cooperate with people all around the world – I love diversity. I love meeting new people and gaining new experience. For me, there is only one disadvantage – a difference in time zones.
What do you consider most important in the technology business sphere, and why?
For me, the most important in the technology business sphere is a constant pursuit of improvements and simplification, based on observing markets needs and trends.
What do you think about an International Magazine focused on people?
I think that it has an endless number of exciting topics to be published.
Which quotes best describe you and why?
„If the doors are closed, I will enter through a window“ – it describes me best because when I see a problem, I am immediately focusing on finding a solution and usually I am not giving up until I get there.
What kind of advice would you like to give to people?
Nothing much revealing, but I would say that trusting your own intuition is important in achieving peace and happiness in life.