Phoebe Upton talks about her role as a Caption Producer at Able, and what she loves about working in the media accessibility industry.
Career: Caption Producer at Able
Programme: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Translation
Subjects: Sociology & Spanish
“I work as a Caption Producer at Able, crafting captions for live and offline content. We work in conjunction with the Caption Editors to edit and produce captions for media airing on providers such as TVNZ1, 2, 3, Prime, and Sky to make media more accessible for deaf and hard of hearing communities, as well as those who speak English as a second language.
“My experience so far has been overwhelmingly positive. The team at Able is made up of some of the most intelligent, kind, and quirky people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. I really enjoy the challenge of live captioning, which involves respeaking dialogue into a headset (equipped with voice recognition software) as quickly and as accurately as possible. I also love the expansive general knowledge I have acquired from captioning such a wide range of television shows!
My own personal highlights include captioning the Tokyo 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games, and most recently, the Super Shot Saturday Vaxathon.
“I chose to study an Arts degree at Auckland because it offered the widest scope of subjects available to study, and important life skills. My first year allowed me to explore different options, and as I progressed through my degree, I gradually narrowed my focus. With the support and guidance of my lecturers and advisers, I was then able to complete my Masters in Translation Studies in 2020 – a field I didn’t even know existed before then!
“The research and writing skills, spelling and grammar, proofreading and skim-reading I learned have all been extremely helpful in assisting me to produce work at a consistently high level. Critical thinking has been the most useful skill in almost all aspects of my life.
“I think the biggest misconception about an Arts degree is that it doesn’t lead to a career. I truly believe it sets you up for more than a career – it sets you up for life. It exposes you to different schools of thought, diverse opinions, and distinct worldviews, and fosters a sense of empathy and understanding.
“To anyone thinking of studying Arts – go for it! Experiment with the wide range of courses available in your first year and take advantage of all the amazing opportunities on offer.
Study a language, even just as a general education course – it will open up your world.
“Definitely consider a study programme/work experience programme overseas. (When we can travel internationally again, that is!) Halfway through my degree, I spent a year in the north of Spain teaching English in primary schools, and it was an incredible complement to my studies.
“Doing an Arts degree at UoA was without a doubt one of the best decisions I ever made.”