Growing up in the small town of Lavelanet, France, Greg Koess didn’t have role models to help him navigate the college or career process. That lack of guidance is the driving force behind his desire to help young people as a mentor for CFES Brilliant Pathways.
As a Localization Quality Manager at Apple, Koess has plenty to offer as a CFES National Advisory Board member and mentor to in CFES Scholars. “I want to provide the kind of help I lacked to kids that are in similar situations as me. I’ve always been passionate about training and coaching, and this would be a new type of coaching that could be very impactful.”
Koess managed to overcome his lack of mentorship through sheer will. He figured out the college application process on his own and was accepted at Georgia Tech, where he studied math. He landed his first job as a linguist at TransPerfect – the world’s largest privately-owned language services provider and CFES partner – after searching through the classified ads in the newspaper and going to the public library to use a computer to browse online ads and print his resume.
“I did it without a proper network or any guidance” says Koess, who plans to teach his mentees CFES Essential Skills such as networking. “It was a very antiquated approach with no method to it, or at least no one showed me one.”
Fast forward to 2019, and Koess had a polished profile on LinkedIn with a detailed job description and list of skills endorsed by people within his well-established network.
“I was able to apply to my new job at Apple with just a few clicks,” he says. “It’s nice to be doing math again in my new role like back in college.”
Koess is looking forward to helping CFES Scholars avoid some of the same mistakes he made, while helping them realize their college and career dreams. “Students need to find out what they are really good at, become and remain an expert at it, find a network of peers, and network, network, network,” says Koess. “In my case, I knew that I was good at analyzing and improving processes within the translation industry, and also enjoyed people management.”
Koess credits landing his job at Apple to networking and perseverance – both critical Essential Skill taught by CFES that he plans to emphasize to his mentees.
“Luckily, the position at Apple was a great fit, and I put all my energy into the screening process, researching who I was about to interview with in order to tailor my approach and ask questions,” says Koess.
Eager to start mentoring students in his role as a CFES National Advisory Board Member, Koess has a piece of advice he plans to continue to share: “People will forget what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel.”