Tevvi Bullock was only 14 when she travelled overseas for the first time. The 17-day school exchange took her to Cape Town in South Africa.
"I remember, after the trip, feeling like I had this thing people call the travel bug,” admits Bullock. “And it's something I’ve never lost." Ever since, the now UTS graduate has followed her unyielding passion for languages and the world around her.
Today, it sees Bullock living in Canberra where she works as an Accreditation Officer for the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). It’s a job that sees her manage the system of NAATI-approved courses at universities and vocational education and training institutions around Australia.
Bullock first came into contact with NAATI while studying a Bachelor of Global Studies at UTS in 2016.
During the course of her three-year degree, she was given the opportunity to nurture her passions for international relations and sociology, and to study French (Bullock is also fluent in English and German). She also had to undertake a 50-hour internship. Cue NAATI.
Bullock specifically sought out NAATI because of the work they do with languages. As the sole national accrediting body of translators and interpreters (T&I), NAATI sets and maintains the high national standards Australian T&I practitioners need to follow. The only problem was, they didn't have a work experience program.
But Bullock wasn’t to be deterred. After thoroughly researching the organisation and updating her resume (she even phoned NAATI to enquire about the possibility of interning) she sent off her CV and a letter outlining the areas she would be interested in contributing to. Soon Bullock was contacted by the manager Robert Foote.
Bullock recalls, “Robert said that he would have a meeting in Sydney a few days later and invited me to come along to meet him, the CEO, and the communications manager. The meeting was meant for stakeholders, but I went along and I met them and they seemed happy to welcome me down to Canberra for a few weeks.
“They'd never had an intern before, so they kind of created this intern position for me, which was fantastic!”
Two weeks, a tonne of research and a 5000-word report later, Bullock finished her internship. But it wouldn’t be the last time she would work with NAATI.
“On the second- or third-last day Robert took me aside and asked if I'd be interested to come back later to work for NAATI, once I had completed my degree, to which I replied, ‘Yes!’. And so a few months later, I sent a follow-up email and within a month I'd signed up and moved down to Canberra,” says Bullock.
“It remains my dream to be involved in a career that provides me with the ability to remain inquisitive about the world and challenges me to succeed at that which I set my mind to.”
And while UTS may have set her career off on the right foot, Bullock certainly has the grit to make her dreams come true.