Graduate profiles

Keira Ives-Keeler

BA Modern Languages

Keira Ives-KeelerI studied Spanish and Russian with Interpreting at the University of Sheffield, spending my third year abroad in St. Petersburg and Havana, Cuba. Having studied Romance languages before going to university (Spanish, French, Italian) I was looking for a new challenge, which led me to take up both Russian and Portuguese in my first year. From the very beginning I'd hoped that choosing to study a 'different' language would help me stand out from the crowd and improve my career prospects - I had no idea then just how many doors Russian would open for me and the journey it would take me on.

After graduating in 2010 with a 2.1 and Distinction in Spoken Russian I moved back to St. Petersburg to work as Assistant Director of the AIFS study abroad programme at St. Petersburg Polytechnic University. My Year Abroad in Italy, Russia and Cuba confirmed my passion for languages and inter-cultural communication and beyond that my commitment to developing an international career. After spending a year in Russia I trained' as a professional conference interpreter and translator at Leeds University, which took me to the UN in Vienna as a trainee the following year. I joined the British Council on their graduate programme in 2013 and am now based in Moscow as Assistant Director, British Council Russia - a role which allows me to use my language skills on a daily basis, whilst developing a wide range of non-language related skills and contributing to the building of trust between the UK and Russia.

It may not always be easy but I truly feel privileged to have had the opportunity to learn Russian and to experience the Russian-speaking world. The role that languages can play in helping us to understand each other is more important than ever - why wouldn't you want to be a part of that?!'