Project Management and Translation
My line manager was one of the excellent Project Managers (PMs), Marzia, who was always on hand to answer questions, provide useful feedback and give top tips and tricks on best practice. Her kind, welcoming and supportive approach really stood out to me and immediately put me at ease within the team, allowing me to comfortably settle into my role.
I spent my first two weeks with the Project Management and Translation teams, where I had individual 1-2-1 training sessions on project workflow, localisation, PEMT, file preparation, quality-assurance practices and CAT tools. Linguistic tasks from a variety of different industry areas were also selected for me to complete throughout the weeks, ahead of 1-2-1 linguistic feedback sessions at the end of each week with experienced project manager and linguist, Nicki. The opportunity to translate texts from outside of my comfort zone, learn to use CAT tools, and have these translations reviewed by a working professional was an invaluable experience and a great opportunity for my personal linguistic development.
By shadowing PMs, I was able observe the whole life cycle of various projects to see just how much goes into the project management process and how fast-paced the role is. Once I had a grasp of the PM workflow, I was able to carry out some of my own PM tasks, giving me the chance to gauge what the real-life turnaround of a translation project might be and how to plan my time accordingly. An additional bonus at STB is that all of the PMs are also fully qualified translators, which means they have a good understanding of the projects they take on and are also able to complete linguistic work where necessary.
During my time, I was lucky enough to be involved in the agency’s outreach programme with Translation Team Leader Chloe, who allowed me to accompany her to talk to some local year 7 students about pursuing a future in languages. Language outreach has always been something that I have been interested in, so having the opportunity work with a company that shares this passion was a great experience.
Whilst this was certainly the most challenging part of my internship, I can confidently say that I learnt more about the translation industry in these first two weeks than in the whole year of my master’s degree.
Operations: Sales, Marketing and Resource Management
In the following two weeks, I spent some time away from the linguistic departments and focused more on the agency operations roles. ‘Variety’ would be the word I would use to describe these two weeks, with tasks ranging from writing a blog about the team’s Mental Health First Aid training with Ruth in the Compliance team, to learning how to register, manage and contract freelancers with the Resource Management (RM) team. Finally, I received sales and marketing training from Craig and Marya, which shed light on how to generate business and what kind of tasks are involved in this process. The broad exposure of these final weeks gave me a new perspective on the industry and showed me that there are many other roles in translation other than ‘translator’, which still require the same passion for language.
I would strongly recommend this internship experience for anyone who is looking to start their career in the translation industry. All of the questions that I had coming into this experience have been thoroughly answered, and I now feel that I have a well-rounded understanding of how to work in a thriving translation agency. To top everything off, I have loved every second of being here and have felt so welcomed and supported by the wonderful teams in each department. Every day has been an opportunity to learn skills that you can’t be taught at university, and to be able to do so in such a happy, comfortable environment has been a truly wonderful experience.
If you are interested in an internship with Surrey Translation Bureau, please find more details at https://www.surreytranslation.co.uk/internships/. We look forward to hearing from you!