Hello. Hola. Salut. Hallo. G’day.

I’m currently researching international entrepreneurship at QUT Business School, where I’m pursuing a Masters of Business by Research  in International Business.

I’m fascinated by small businesses who tackle international markets. Is that you? Get in touch!

This site chronicles my journey from fledgling translator, to seasoned translation professional, to aspiring academic.

Welcome along for the ride.

About

Research

I began my Masters of International Business by Research in January 2016 at QUT Business School in Brisbane, funded by the Australian Government’s Research Training Scheme. I am supervised by Dr Charmaine Glavas and Dr Shane Mathews.

My research explores international experience within the internationalisation processes of the firm. I take an online service firm perspective, because services are generally under-represented in the internationalisation literature and online firms are increasingly prominent in the start-up world. This provides a novel opportunity to study the relationships between emerging kinds of business environments and international experience in entrepreneurs.

I also hold a Masters in Technical and Specialised Translation (University of Westminster, London), and a BA (Hons) in Applied Languages (University of Limerick, Ireland).

Industry

My industry experience is extensive and diverse, including stints with blue-chip professional service firms, multinational manufacturers and entrepreneurial start-ups.

My experience as an entrepreneur informs much of my current research.

In 2004, I joined a profession that was on the brink of being replaced by machines – or so many said.  Running a professional translation studio, I used emerging online technologies to quickly build a varied portfolio of business clients based all around the world, becoming a visible and pioneering influence in my field.

By 2006 I was running a completely location-independent, cloud-based business. I managed multinational and geographically-dispersed teams of professionals on multilingual, multimedia projects, and worked for business clients who hired me on the strength of my online reputation and multilingual content marketing expertise.

In 2007 I worked in some of the first coworking spaces in Europe. By 2008 I had taken my business on the road, spending extended periods of time in coworking spaces in Spain, Germany, and Australia, where I formed international partnerships that I maintain to this day.

In 2011, I helped establish one of the first online training providers for professional linguists with a business partner who lived on the other side of the world (and whom I had never met at the time – and have still only met once face-to-face). Within a matter of months, that business was serving individual customers and corporate clients in almost 100 countries across Europe, North America, South America and Australasia, and we were the preferred online training provider for national professional bodies, such as the Institute of Translation and Interpreting and the American Translators Association, among others.

Today, I’m based in subtropical Brisbane, Australia, where I’ve returned to formal education to pursue my research interests as an academic. I’m keen to explore the less-visible, but highly innovative businesses in our midst, the kind of businesses I’ve spent so long running, building and admiring.

Ultimately, I’d like to increase our understanding of how these often-overlooked entrepreneurs operate, and help translate academic knowledge and insights into practical, real-world applications for business owners, investors, and policy makers around the world.

About this website

After riding the wave of technological change for many years as a small business owner, I’m now exploring how I might apply what I’ve learnt to my career as an aspiring academic. I hope you’ll join me!

Sarah Dillon

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