When Kirk Paradis put his studies in translation on pause to accompany his wife back home to Japan to have their son last year, two things happened: their apartment was flooded and he was awarded the F.P. Higgins Memorial Bursary.
“It came at the right time in the sense that while we were in Japan our apartment here in Montreal was completely flooded. We had no insurance, so we lost everything,” explains Paradis.
“I work at the bank full time so I don’t make a student salary, but I always need the little extra. Since my wife isn’t a permanent resident yet and can’t work, I support the family, work full time and go to school.”
The new father works in project management at National Bank while pursuing a bachelor of arts with a specialization in translation. He received the Governor General’s Academic Medal after returning to high school following three years of military service, and is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.
“My wife and son are still in Japan because we didn’t have a house to come back to. Receiving support gives us a reason to stay positive,” says Paradis, who’s originally from Val-d’Or, Que. “And at least school is going well, so that’s nice."
Paradis’s interest in translation was piqued following a trip to Japan in between Cegep, which he attended in Quebec City, and university, when he started learning Japanese as a hobby before meeting a translator who inspired him to delve deeper.
“It got me interested in the career, which is why I chose the program at Concordia,” says Paradis. “Most of my previous studies were in French so I wanted to do it in English — and Japanese, of course. Those three languages are full-time jobs on their own.”