Discover what is involved in an internship and how to go about finding one.
On this page you will find information about how an internship with one of ITI's Corporate members can provide an insight into the world of a Language Service Provider and offer valuable work experience.
Internships aimed at industry newcomers can be crucial for establishing relationships between academia and a specific industry sector, as they help to marry two different aspects: university students’ education and an industry’s ever changing requirements. Universities working closely with organisations by means of internships can result in generating a higher calibre of graduate seeking employment within an industry, making the shift from the academic environment to the working world just that little bit easier.
The benefits of an internship with an ITI Corporate Member
ITI Corporate Member internships afford students and graduates the opportunity to obtain a glimpse into the daily operations of a language service provider (LSP). In addition, the first-hand experience an intern gains during an internship enables them to stand out from a crowd of fellow linguists as well as increase their overall level of employability when listing the internship on their CV for a future job application.
What’s also great about these internships is that they can allow for flexibility since they can be offered at any point throughout the year. The summer months continually prove popular among LSPs as they tend to experience a quieter period with their clients during this time. For students seeking an internship, the summer is ideal as it typically falls outside of university term time. Opting for this timeframe essentially enables the LSP to better focus their time on training the intern and enables the intern to take full advantage of all possible knowledge-sharing opportunities from their more experienced colleagues.
What might an internship look like?
So what can you expect from an internship with an ITI Corporate Member? Internships will vary from company to company - some will be remote whilst others will be office-based. The internship might last anywhere from one month to six. You might be assigned to one area for the duration of the internship or undertake a rotational placement, where you move between the company’s various departments.
Ideally companies will offer you a formal induction on your arrival as a way of helping you to familiarise yourself with the culture of the organisation. A typical induction could include an introduction to the organisation’s history, services and values, a brief introduction to the management structure and a more in-depth introduction to any members of staff you will be working closely with, coupled with a discussion on your daily responsibilities.
One thing all ITI Corporate Member internships will offer you is an insight into what it’s like to work in the translation industry.
Here are a few of the areas you might find yourself working in during an internship:
Although the majority of translators work on a freelance basis, some translation agencies have their own in-house staff. During an internship it’s likely that you’ll get the chance to practise your translation skills, with in-house staff assessing your work and providing you with feedback. It’s a great way to develop your linguistic skills outside of an academic environment and gain experience in working to tighter deadlines than you might be used to. You may even get the chance to take on live translation assignments during your internship!
Many LSPs offer additional linguistic services so you might also find yourself learning more about interpreting, localisation, post-editing or transcreation. If you have a specific area of interest that you would like to develop over the course of an internship, we recommend researching the company beforehand to get an idea of the services they offer to their clients to help tailor your applications.
An integral part of any translation agency is its team of project managers. Throughout an internship you will be able to see how the entire translation production chain comes together as project managers liaise with both translators and clients, as well as tackling an array of other tasks behind the scenes. You will also gain an insight into quality assurance procedures, budgeting and preparing quotes, and file preparation, to name a few areas.
Not all agencies have a dedicated Resource Management department but if you spend your internship at a company that does, you will be able to learn more about how they recruit their team of freelance translators and how they maintain their working relationships with them. If you are planning on becoming a freelance translator yourself, spending time with a resource manager during your internship presents the perfect opportunity to find out about the application process, how to refine your CV and boost your chances of getting onto an organisation’s books.
Sales and marketing
An internship with a sales and marketing focus will show you how the company markets itself to both new and prospective clients. The skills you learn in this area of an internship will be transferable to a whole host of different careers, and may even help you market yourself either as a freelance translator or when it comes to applying to future jobs.
Here’s what Hannah Perl, who interned with ITI Accredited Member Surrey Translation Bureau had to say about her experience during her rotational internship in 2023:
I’ve been able to expand my skillset in a welcoming and nurturing environment while being given the opportunity to not only gain invaluable professional experience, but to work with some of the best in translation.
Read more about Hannah's experience
Where can I do an internship?
Below is a list of ITI Corporate members who have informed us that they offer programmes of training and support to industry newcomers, and details of how to reach them:
Please note: ITI can not help you arrange an internship. You need to contact the organisations listed directly to find out about their current availability.