Written on 13 November, 2015

Our intern, Hannah Walmsley, writes about her experience at STB over the last six weeks.


he transition from student to professional can be unnerving. However, internship opportunities such as that offered by Surrey Translation Bureau (STB) inspire confidence and drive to begin this journey. In just six weeks I have acquired invaluable transferable skills for a variety of in-house roles and responsibilities and have had the pleasure of learning from some of the best professionals in the industry.

The internship programme was extremely well thought out and planned to the finest detail to ensure that I had a focused, yet all-round experience. This is reflective of the professional nature of STB whose efficiency and organisation have contributed to the company’s success.

Sales and Marketing

I started my placement with the Sales and Marketing team where I learned about the process of preparing customised quotations, engaging with new clients and spreading the word about STB. One responsibility of the Sales and Marketing team is to request feedback from the first job delivered to all new clients. Though competition in the translation market is fierce, STB are confident in the quality, professional services they provide which has led to a great number of successful relationships with long-standing clients. I was inspired by the natural ability of the Sales and Marketing team to build a rapport, even with new clients, through their friendly and approachable manner and their expert company knowledge.

I was also extremely impressed and encouraged by the efforts STB exert to erode the physical barriers when it comes to working with freelance translators. Through various social media channels freelancers and clients are able to keep up to date with the company, its staff and general industry developments or points of interest. Having analysed a recent STB survey regarding freelance translator satisfaction, I have come to realise the value of working with a company that strives endlessly to communicate on a personal level with its suppliers and whose transparency and presence help to strengthen these relationships.

Resource Management

During my time working with the company’s Resource Manager, I gained essential knowledge of in-house and freelancer recruitment procedures. This included organisation and development of the company’s human and material resources, and the management of essential quality assurance mechanisms. I felt extremely fortunate to assist the Resource Manager by being trusted to send external emails and contribute to the procedures involved in the freelancer selection process.

Translation, editing and revision

In this area of the internship, the ‘hands-on’ nature of the programme allowed me to produce translations for real clients adhering to real-life deadlines. I received very thorough and constructive feedback which allowed my confidence to grow with the more experience I was exposed to. I particularly enjoyed working with the translation software in a variety of modes – translation, editing and revision as well as terminology and translation memory tasks. I now have a solid working ability of the software which will be an asset to my future in the industry.

Project Management

My experience in the Project Management team was by far the most challenging. However, I was able to implement skills I had acquired during the previous weeks of the internship to the variety of tasks involved in the role of a PM. I began by shadowing a PM in order to get a feel for their day-to-day routine. At first, I was overwhelmed by the high-speed turnaround of jobs completed by project managers, who despite their fast pace manage to provide a very thorough, high-quality service that is sensitive to both client and translator needs. I soon learned that effective communication and efficient organisation are vital attributes to fulfil this role.

Having developed a feel for PM work, I was then fortunate enough to take on my very own project in the role of PM. Under the guidance of the team, I was able to see this particular project through from start to finish and was thrilled to have a very satisfied client by the end of the process.

During the rest of my PM experience, I was able to assist other PMs by logging jobs on the database, identifying client preferences, conducting relevant research, liaising with translators and revisers and setting up projects. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and was extremely impressed and influenced by the teamwork of STB PMs whose cooperation fuelled their ability to always remain one step ahead – which I have come to learn is key to this role!

The internship programme at STB has equipped me with essential industry knowledge and expertise that will prove invaluable as I begin my career in translation. I am sincerely grateful for the thought, time and effort that has gone into the organisation of such a fulfilling training experience. I couldn’t have wished for a better or more realistic introduction to the industry and it has been an honour and a pleasure to learn from such exemplary professionals.

Has Hannah’s account of her STB experience encouraged you to see how our team could fulfil your translation requirements? Why not contact us by emailing hello@surreytranslation.co.uk