January 09, 2020

Faced with the loss of her job in 2013, alum Marleny Trujillo was at a turning point when she found Century College’s Translation and Interpreting program. The factory where she worked was shutting down, and she was offered access to Minnesota’s Dislocated Workers program, which provided educational funding for those wanting to make a career change.  “Century College was perfect because it was close to home, and the classes were affordable,” says Marleny.

Flexible Classes Fit a Busy Schedule

Originally from Honduras, Marleny had moved to the United States at 19, and she had already completed a year of college.  When Marleny joined Century College’s Translation and Interpreting program in 2013, she was a single parent in her 30s, raising two teenagers, and working part-time.  “The flexibility was great–having online and evening classes was perfect for my busy schedule,” Marleny notes. “And the instructors were great.”  She graduated in 2015 with her certificate. 

Another bonus for Marleny was the opportunity to meet classmates from different countries.  “I got to know people from all over the world who were in the Translation and Interpreting program.  It was a new experience for me,” she notes.

Internships and Shadowing Professionals in the Field

Marleny had always loved interpreting for friends and family when they needed help.  At Century College, she wasn’t sure which specific direction to go–legal or medical interpreting–but soon came to realize that she loved working in the medical field most.  Translation and Interpreting Program Director Rachel Herring helped her find an internship and had her shadow translation and interpreting professionals in different settings–from courtrooms to dental offices to hospitals and schools.  “It was a wonderful experience,” remembers Marleny. “In the future, I can explore other options, if I want.” 

A Rewarding Career

Marleny is a certified Medical Interpreter through the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters, and works at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.  She is also employed with interpreting agencies, and sometimes works in different hospitals. Marleny keeps up with her chosen field by taking continuing education classes.

Additionally, she also took classes in education while at Century College, and she sometimes works in schools, interpreting for parent-teacher conferences.  She earned a Certificate in Academic English Proficiency, as well.

“This job is rewarding and exciting.  You have to be prepared for everything, from working in the emergency room to labor and delivery, and you never know what’s going to happen. It’s wonderful when patients or medical staff thank me for being there, and  they say they couldn’t have done it without me.”


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