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A Day in the Life of a Senior Project Manager

This post continues our “A Day in the Life” series, where we check in on some of Argos Multilingual’s most prominent personalities. Our latest visit is to Shazia Khatoon, who is a senior project manager. 

Please tell us a little about your background and how you found your way to Argos:

Shazia Khatoon: I’ve been part of the localization industry for about 10 years in various operational roles, starting as a project coordinator, then a project manager, and then a lead senior project manager. I have successfully managed a variety of complex clients for those 10 years, mainly specializing in life sciences. I have proactively led the project management team for over 4 years, through comprehensive monitoring, training, and empowerment. I wanted to be part of a company that was open to innovation and growth, and I’ve found that in Argos. I am excited to be part of this journey and contribute to our growth.

What does your role usually involve? 

SK: As a senior project manager, I wear a lot of hats! Here’s a quick summary of what I do:

  • I’m the entry and exit point for all projects and client requests, from receiving requests to scoping, completing quotes, and transactional steps, moving the project along and finalizing it.
  • I’m also the point of escalation for any client complaints, requests, or queries.
  • I work closely with the director of US operations and sales, identifying areas of improvement within a process or a project.
  • I work closely with sales on new client set up and onboarding.
  • I’m involved with potential client presentations and meetups.
  • I meet with clients to identify their expectations and requirements. I also work together with multiple teams to build processes, documentation, and resources for clients.
  • I write up instructions for the linguists as well as for DTP and engineering to make sure all project-related specifics are shared correctly with the right teams.
  • I capture and address any queries from linguistic teams to the client and communicate the answers.
  • I’m also heavily involved in process improvement, to help operations efficiently handle projects and deliver quality.

What does a normal day’s schedule look like? 

SK: My mornings start with attending to any hot issues or requests, then client communication. I then move on to a status check of current projects to make sure they are on track. I attend to any queries from the linguists, so that they are addressed on time. Afternoons are spent setting up new projects, completing quote requests, and finalizing files for client deliveries. A typical day is also packed with client meetings and calls, internal meetings, linguistic queries, and whatever else pops up during the day.

What’s a common question you get from clients/end users, and how do you typically answer it?

SK: Well, the most common questions I hear from clients these days focus on schedules and budgets. I clearly explain to them the implications of having a tight schedule and budget for a project and provide them with different options, so they know what works best for them. It’s important to proactively answer any concerns or questions from clients to maintain their trust and cement long-standing relationships.

What equipment/tools/software do you use on the job?

SK: Outlook, Skype, TMS, and Trados Studio. I also have a lot of experience working with XTM.

When and how do your team members give feedback to one another?

SK: We have weekly team meetings led by our boss (Yusuke Kirimoto, Director of US Operations). This gives us an opportunity to see where we are at for the week and opens the floor for any discussions. We also reach out to each other with questions/comments via Skype or email.

What’s the most interesting thing you’re working on at the moment?

SK: I am working on getting some new clients up to speed by putting together guidelines to capture their preferences. I’m also working on process improvement steps, which I believe will help tremendously in efficiently handling projects and delivering a quality product to our client. Finally, I’m putting together a list of items that will enhance TMS functionality and make it a more efficient tool.

What’s on your work-related “wish list” for the next 12 months?

SK: TMS efficiency, process improvement, and onboarding some big clients!

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