Women that Rock

Thinking Outside the Box

Hanna Kanabiajeuskaja is the Product Manager – Localization at Box. Hanna is a member Women in Localization and has been a presenter for Women in Localization’s Silicon Valley chapter events.  She will be a presenter at next week’s LocWorld35 in Silicon Valley. Her conference program, “Global by Design,” will be held on November 2nd, 1:30-2:15pm and will be hosted by Donna Parrish, Publisher MultiLingual and co-organizer of LocWorld.

Global Product is a bit of data and a lot of empathy”

  1. Tell me about your background and what brought you to Box?

I grew up in Belarus in the 90s, when all these foreign things just started rolling in. First foreign things I remember: 

  • Made-somewhere-in-Europe jackets that my family got from a relative in exchange for a tiny piece of property; 
  • My sister’s English-language cassette player and singing along to “I just called to say I love you.” I didn’t know what “Ai-jazz-co” and “ta-sei” were but I knew what “I love you” meant.
  • I had a German pen pal since I was ten, I spent an exchange year in the U.S. when I was in high school and worked in the U.S. almost every summer as I was getting my degree in translation from Belarusian State University.

The Journey to Box

I worked freelance and full-time jobs as a translator and did my Master’s in conference interpretation at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. I learned about localization from electives, internships and all the amazing localization people here in the area. I found Box after googling “best companies in Silicon Valley,” and I’ve been here for three years now.

  1. What do you love about creating global products? What are challenges your team faces?  

I love what I do because the philosophy behind global products is constantly advancing. When I started, we would mostly try to keep up with translating the UI and make sure it looks good. But, if that’s the only thing that you do, your product will still be centered around the country where it was created. For a product to be truly global, it needs to address specific problems of people in different countries. So now, our focus is on understanding very well how people work all around the world and how to help them. This is both fascinating and challenging.

  1. What are some words of wisdom you want to share with everyone? 

The best way to learn is by doing. When you will attack new problems, there will be things that you won’t know. Admit it to yourself and to others. By being vulnerable and humble, you will attract new learning opportunities and earn your peers’ respect.

Register for LocWorld35 to gain the latest insights from the leaders of the localization industry – For more information on how to register – https://locworld.com/events/locworld35-silicon-valley-2017/