May 23, 2023

“Education is important to me because continuous learning makes me feel young. I could spend my whole life learning and enjoying it—it’s like the perfect thing to do. However, I can’t wait to get a job in my new career field.”

Century College Translation and Interpreting (TRIN) student Maria-Paula Falla is a true citizen of the world. Originally from Colombia, she speaks four languages fluently–Spanish, French, English and Italian. “I’m passionate about languages. I went to a French immersion school, and started learning that language when I was 3 years old,” Maria-Paula says. “However, English is a little challenging because of the different grammatical and spelling rules.”

She earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and her Master’s in Marketing. “It was mandatory to learn English to take those college courses,” Maria-Paula remembers. “I learned Italian in college-–it came easily, as it is similar to French and Spanish.”

A New Direction: Translation and Interpreting (TRIN) at Century College

Fifteen years ago, Maria-Paula and her family moved to Minnesota when her husband was transferred to 3M. An extrovert who loves helping others, she worked as a reading tutor for the Minnesota Reading Corps at her children’s school. She received a stipend for her work, which could be used for education.

A friend recommended a Computer Applications class at Century College, and she took the class and enjoyed it. “I saw how the Century College faculty and staff support students in so many ways,“ she notes. ”For example, the IT department staff was very helpful. Century College has all the resources students need to succeed.”

When Maria-Paula learned about Century College’s TRIN program, she decided to go for the certificate. “Century’s TRIN program is well regarded, and Program Director Rachel Herring is known in the field for her excellence,” she notes.

Leadership: Giving Back and Helping Others

Maria-Paula has thrived at the College, and loves giving back to her fellow students. She has worked as a Tutor Linked to Classes (TLC) for Psychology faculty member Val Wilwert. The TLC program links tutors to students in specific courses. TLC tutors attend courses and provide support to their student-peers.

She has also tutored for her peers in the TRIN program. “I love helping students,” Maria-Paula enthuses. “It’s also an opportunity to keep up my skills and knowledge, too, as a tutor. And I really enjoyed psychology classes with Val. Tutoring is win-win. TLC is a beautiful program at Century College.”

For her hard work enthusiasm, and dedication to her new career field, Maria-Paula was recently awarded the 2023 Outstanding Student Award (TRIN). She will graduate later in the year, and plans to go into the medical field as a translation and interpreting expert.

Maria-Paula offers the following advice for those who may want to attend TRIN at Century College: “Go for it. You will have everything to help you succeed. Century College has amazing professors and a well-structured program.”


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