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Employee Spotlight: Raana Shah

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At Amentum, we celebrate our people, our cultures, and we recognize the value of diversity and inclusion. In May, we’ll focus on Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month while shining a light on one employee at a timeToday’s Q&A is with Raana Shah, CAT II Urdu/Punjabi Linguist.


How did you come to join Amentum? 

I joined Global Linguist Solutions (GLS) in October 2019 as a linguist prior to it merging with Amentum.  When I first heard about this opportunity, I was interested in being able to travel, meet new people, try different roles, and be a part of military missions. I am now based in Kuwait as a CAT II Linguist for Punjabi & Urdu languages. It is an honor to serve my country in this role.


What is your professional and personal background? 

I graduated with my bachelor’s in science in Pakistan, was married and immigrated to the US. My professional life started as a bridal consultant. I then worked in retail sales and customer service in various roles including Store Manager. From being a sales associate to management, I was able to take on many new experiences, achieve my goals and earn awards and promotions along the way. It was a smooth transition from working in customer service to being a linguist. Now, I enjoy my role as a Linguist as it allows me to continue learning and connect with others.

Some of my hobbies include: cooking and trying new recipes. I like to do photography outdoors in the nature. I also love to travel and explore new places and people. I traveled to many countries prior to coming to Kuwait. I went to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nairobi, Spain, London, Sweden, and Saudi Arabia.


Describe the work you do and how you think it makes a positive impact. 

In my current position as a linguist, I do simultaneous interpreting during Counter Intelligence Interviews. My clients are usually from East and West Punjab of India and Pakistan. Since I grew up in Punjab, Pakistan, I have a very deep understanding of the diverse culture, moral society, and different dialects of the Punjabi and Urdu languages. Therefore, clients feel comfortable during the interview and I’m able to connect with them. It gives them the confidence and courage to tell their story. I am very proud to be able to help so many people achieve their target in my present role and provide assistance to my team and Mission.


What are some of your accomplishments and/or what has been your proudest career moment? 

One of my proudest career moments was in 2020, when I was selected to work as an essential employee during the Pandemic lockdown. During that time, I had the opportunity to work with my leadership directly, as they were very supportive and allowed me to enhance my role as an essential team member.


What do you enjoy about working for Amentum? 

I enjoy the teamwork and the support I receive in Amentum from all of my colleagues. Whether related to my work or career, it’s amazing to get such an amazing support system. I am constantly learning from my colleagues’ experiences and from the resources available through Amentum.


What are you passionate about? 

I am passionate about helping people in need especially, women who are deprived of their basic rights. I love to help the elderly and did a lot of volunteer work prior to coming overseas in my position. I am also passionate about traveling and love to explore new places and cultures all over the world.


What is your career advice?   

My best career advice is to stay focused and be passionate about your work. This will allow you to face setbacks or obstacles and still achieve your goals. Take everything as a learning experience and grow from it. Also, don’t be hesitant to take initiative on the tasks that seem challenging as you can learn from them as well.


What does safety mean to you, or do you have a favorite safety tip?   

To me, safety means taking time to recognize any hazardous conditions around you and to take appropriate steps to protect yourself and those around you. It also means being cognizant of the world around you and knowing the happenings so that in case of any threats, you can take safety measures in a timely manner.


What is the best invention in the world?   

The phone is the best invention in the world because it led to other crucial inventions such as the internet. The ability to connect has had an immense impact on collaboration across the globe in business, trade and personal matters and is unthinkable without this invention.


Anything else you would like to share from a personal or professional perspective?   

My mantra is to stay positive and remain calm under any circumstances. Provide encouragement to other people and be an example for them.


What does Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?   

AAPI month is important to me because it allows us to spread awareness and recognition to the under- represented minority communities and their unique stories in America. As a Pakistan American, and living in the US for more than 30 years, I have spent the majority of my life in the US and grew up there.

I was able to learn and experience an immense society of people with love, patience and positivity and I hope more people can now experience that from us.

I’m happy that we can now celebrate the diversity and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the US. During this month, we recognize the contributions and influence of AAPI members to the history, culture and achievements of the US. I hope that this month will help to stop the violence through tolerance, patience and understanding of each other. It is a great opportunity to connect to your local community and to share your involvement and interest to be part of this opportunity.

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