Greater than 2 minutes, my friend!
Recently I was invited to work as a Student Ambassador at the School of Modern Languages, see more about that event here. Whilst I was there, I got talking to some of my former lecturers, and one of them mentioned a possible internship over the summer, sponsored by Ede and Ravenscroft. Since my job at school would be over by then, and I would get more translation practise, I decided to apply.
My application consisted of a cover letter and a CV. Neither of which I had ever written – NOTE: when they say at school that you could be asked for a CV at any time IT IS TRUE! DO NOT put it off like I did! In two days I managed to scrape together both and email them off to my supervisor.
Getting your foot in the door in the higher education/translation industry is tricky. It’s that never ending cycle of needing the job to get experience, but you need experience to get the job. I’ve been fortunate that these last two summers, I have been approached to take on the work, but I know that this isn’t always the case.
So where do you look for opportunities? General Googling can be useful at looking a variety of options, but sometimes it’s a bit vague or misleading.
One if my favourite places to look for job opportunities is Twitter. Following translation companies and freelancers is a good way to see what’s out there, if you’re not sure what exactly you want to do – be it translating, proofreading, localisation or interpreting. Looking at Uwe Muegge‘s Twitter account is a great place to start. He posts about all sorts of translation related jobs; from internships to professorships as well as upcoming awards or prizes. Translators Base is also a good alternative for freelancers.
Following international translation agencies such as UN Language Careers or EU Commission or Translating for the EU are also good ways to look for jobs in languages that may not be so common or popular.
If you’re a little further ahead in the game, and already have some experience under your belt, then Language Jobs Board is another good place to look – it seems to particularly specialise in Academic or Secondary education positions but other jobs do surface from time to time.
University Modern Languages departments are helpful too. Some universities even run Twitter pages for specific languages and courses – Glasgow University MSc Translation, Bristol Univeristy MA Translation and Queen’s University Belfast are good starting points. Opportunities in research or post-graduate teaching and scholarships are often advertised online, and it’s a good idea to follow these three examples – even if you didn’t go to their university, lots of scholarships are not based on studying there beforehand.
Looking for Summer School events are also a good way to meet people and practise translating. City University London Literary Translation Summer School, British Centre for Literary Translation and University of Leuven, Translation Technology Summer School are mainly based in translating literature or translation technology.
And whilst you’re at it, you can follow me as well! @amjscorr