Written on 15 August, 2022

Surrey Translation Bureau (STB) prides itself on playing an active role in the translation industry and helping to shape its future. We therefore believe it is extremely important to inspire and support the next generation of linguists to enable them to access internships, in-house positions and freelance opportunities within the industry. In recent months, STB’s outreach activities have seen employees speaking to school pupils, university students and new graduates.

With the number of school-age children studying languages on the decline (in 2019, the BBC reported drops of between 30% and 50% in the number of students taking German and French since 2013) and universities around the country axing languages courses, STB is passionate about promoting the value of languages and highlighting the demand for employees with linguistic abilities.

Inspiring future linguists

In light of the situation, we were thrilled to be invited to talk to pupils at Farnham Heath End School (FHES) through the ‘Inspiring the Future’ scheme, which enables schools to connect with inspirational volunteers from the world of work. Translation Team Leader Chloe Jones visited the school to deliver talks to Year 9 students as part of their Careers Week and to Year 10 GCSE students studying French and German, helping to open their eyes to careers that languages and encouraging them to continue studying these subjects. Chloe gave an insight into working as a translator, as well as pathways into this field of work, at both pre- and post-degree level.

“It was fascinating for students to learn about the differences between interpreting and translation, and the wide range of opportunities that are available to linguists in these areas of work” (Mrs J. Sarrazin, Head of Modern Foreign Languages, FHES).


A career in translation

STB also wants to support university translation students who are hoping to break into the industry. In May 2022, our Resource Management team attended the annual University of Surrey careers fair, organised by the Translation Faculty. Resource Manager Indi Kaur and the then Resource Coordinator Leila Vaníčková gave a presentation about the qualities we look for when recruiting new linguists and how freelance translators can apply to work with us. After this, students had the opportunity to speak to the companies in attendance and ask them questions. STB received excellent feedback on our involvement in this event as well as several applications from students interested in working with us on a freelance basis:

“It was really interesting to hear all about Surrey Translation Bureau and gain some insight into your company and the industry as a whole.” (Maria Dunkley, German to English MA graduate).

Offering invaluable insight into working in the translation industry

As a corporate member of leading professional association the Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI), STB supplements its work in the area of outreach and training by regularly speaking at its events. In March 2022, our Senior Project Manager Nicola Callow was invited to join a panel at the ITI London Regional Group’s Meet the Client event at the University of Westminster, where she was able to give the audience of BA and MA translation students, and new and experienced linguists an invaluable insight into working with translation agencies.

“Your presentation was truly informative and engaging ­ so thank you!” (Hannah Hughes, Translation BA student at the University of Westminster)

Then, in May 2022, we were invited to participate in the ITI’s Starting Work as a Translator or Interpreter (SWATI) event, where our Senior Project Manager Nicola Callow gave a detailed presentation on how to build a solid working relationship with a translation agency and took part in a panel answering questions from the audience of linguists in the early stages of their career.

“Thank you very much for supporting the SWATI event this year. Your presentation was excellent and your contribution invaluable.” (Ann Brooks, Professional Development Officer, ITI)

STB is proud of the partnerships it has established and looks forward to many more opportunities to support and inspire students – and potentially work with some of them – in the future!

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