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Very similar names and the same radiant smile are among the many things that lead people to confuse sisters Ahri and Ahra Lee. Now that they are both pursuing a graduate degree in translation and interpretation (T&I) at the Monterey Institute, their different career aspirations offer clear evidence of the diverse opportunities this degree offers.

Older sister Ahri studied biochemistry and research as an undergraduate student at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. After working in a lab after graduating, she realized that she was too social for a life dedicated to biochemistry research. She thought about going to medical school and becoming a pediatrician, but during an internship at a hospital found that she “hated seeing children suffer.”

After careful consideration, she chose the T&I program at the Monterey Institute because she could combine her love of languages with her scientific background. This summer, with help from MIIS she was able to secure an internship at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva as a technical specialist, assisting translators with scientific understanding. “That is actually what I was dreaming about,” she says, adding that she is very excited about her career prospects as a scientifically focused translator or technical specialist.

“Ahri’s internship made me realize that a lot of opportunities open up when you attend MIIS,” says younger sister Ahra. She majored in International Relations at Mount Holyoke. “We have very different interests and strengths,” she says, laughing. Both sisters took Chinese as a minor and Ahri sometimes tutored her younger sister. Ahra has aspirations for a career where she can build on her international relations interests and is considering taking courses in the Translation and Localization Management program.

It has not always been easy to be the one to follow in the footsteps of the older sister who got “all the science awards in high school,” but Ahra says with a big smile: “I got over it!” Their parents live in New Hampshire and are very happy to have their daughters together. And having someone you know and love so close is also enviable: “Many people are jealous of me for having my sister here!” says Ahra.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir