University of Cambridge post-graduate researcher, Oliver Scott, runs a technical translation and editing company from Portuguese to English based in St Andrews. Here, he shares with us the story behind his business.
Q. How and why did you start in business? I was couch surfing in Brazil when I met a scientist from the Brazilian Maternal Health Research Institute. She was looking for someone to help her edit articles for publication into different languages so I began working with her. I did it for the last two years, during my final years of my degree, until I realised I could take the idea and formalise it by setting up a business. So earlier this year Cambridge Imperial Editing was launched. We prepare scientific articles from Latin America for publication in English academic journals.
Q. How did you get to where you are today? I studied French and Spanish at the University of St Andrews and after getting my degree, I began working as a post-graduate researcher with my areas of expertise including modern Mexican history and 21st century Latin American politics. Along the way I’ve won academic awards which reinforced my desire to have a career in this area. I met Ezra Kitson whilst we were both studying and Ezra’s studies in bioinformatics and microbiology meant he was the perfect person to go into business with. We combine scientific research, writing, extensive foreign language skills and editing experience, to provide a quality service to our clients.
Q. Who has helped you along the way? Business Gateway and the Prince’s Trust were a big help. My adviser Marissa Yassen did a cracking job in supporting our business plan and advising us in areas including marketing and finance. We were also told about potential grants that we could apply for and getting some funding was huge in allowing us to transition from an idea into a business.
Q. What was your biggest mistake? Admittedly, I can’t think of any mistakes at this point. However, I expect that they will reveal themselves in due course.
Q. What is your greatest achievement to date? Probably being admitted to the University of Cambridge on a scholarship to pursue my graduate studies in Latin American Studies. This will compliment my business which is ideal.
Q. What do you hope to achieve in the future? I’m hoping that we can expand and start providing services in different languages with clients across the world. Personally, I would love to be able to retire early and set up a free language school in Mexico.
Q. Do you want to recruit in the future? Yes, our plan is to recruit editors across Scotland.
Q. What is the hardest thing about running your own business? I’ve enjoyed most aspects of running the business but personally the worst bit is the bookkeeping. That’s one area that I don’t enjoy.
Q. Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs? Take advantage of the free support on offer from Business Gateway and if you fit the age criteria, the Prince’s Trust. Also, be passionate about what you do.
Q. How do you relax? A cup of tea, bath with Oilatum and some Colombian literature.
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