As an in-house counsel, I was recently on an assignment to develop a corporate strategy in response to changing domestic financial regulations. As a part of the project, I had a make a research trip to London.
It was my first visit to London so I was naturally excited, but that excitement came with a good measure of worries. I had no contacts there, which meant that I would have had to research the city from scratch – and, of course, I had no luxury of time to do all the prep work.
So I was pleasantly surprised when a colleague of mine told me about DARAMJI. She had been introduced to the time-curation service by a friend of hers when she had been preparing for a business trip to New York.
The website looked really nice, and it was so simple – I just jotted down what I had in mind. I wanted a time-efficient itinerary (especially because my husband also adjusted his own schedule to come to London with me – so I really had to make the best of hours between meetings) and a competent interpreter. I knew that there were a lot of interpreters available in the market, but given the specialist nature of my mission, I was hoping to get someone who has a real understanding of the field. A long shot, I thought.
Imagine my surprise when DARAMJI, within a couple of days, came back to me with three candidates for time-curator/interpreter to support me on my trip. All of them had plenty of interpreting experiences as well as extensive knowledge of the City. I went with Katie, a recent law graduate from Oxford!
Katie’s prep work began days before my arrival in the UK. I just had to share my questions, interests and a few links – Katie took all of that, and heaps of her own research, to develop a magic plan just for me. All I had to do was to answer a few questions that Katie had to make sure she was on the right track.
And sure she was. When I arrived in London, Katie briefed me on my itinerary over a cup of coffee and a chocolate croissant. She talked me through not only whom I was going to meet where and when, but also why; with her great understanding of the British financial industry and legal system, she was able to put my interviewees in context, allowing me to get much more out of my meetings.
Her interpretation skills were top-notch; you know you were well-received when your interviewee follows you outside the meeting room to take more questions. Katie was so well-prepared that she was even able to suggest a few questions which I had not thought of; it was really more like having a seasoned assistant than an interpreter. Even for little refreshment breaks between meetings, Katie picked local favorites which were simply delightful!
My real surprise came when, within 6 hours of us saying goodbye to each other after a full day packed with meetings and interviews, Katie emailed me a detailed meeting log for me. She even helped me draft a follow-up thank-you email so that I could contact my interviewees if necessary.
So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I ended up engaging Katie for more; she helped me translate resources which I received after the visit, produce an executive summary and even conduct further research on remaining questions. Throughout the process, she remained just as professional, dedicated and friendly as the day we first met. Needless to say, the business trip was a resounding success – I really could not thank DARAMJI enough.