05 Apr 2023

The importance of internship in the translation industry

Accredited Corporate Member Surrey Translation Bureau has been hosting interns for over 15 years, and this past year Hannah Perl joined the team, first for a rotational internship, which led to three months specialising in Resource Management. Here she shares her thoughts on her valuable experience:

I had the opportunity to spend three months working alongside Indi, who has taught me all about the Resource Management (RM) department’s role and responsibilities within the agency, guiding me every step of the way.

Although my knowledge of this role before my internship was limited, I quickly learnt how essential RM is to the smooth running of a translation agency, with the main focus being on smooth cooperation and collaboration between freelancers and agencies. The department at STB is dedicated to providing immediate support to both external freelancers and internal project managers and because of this, I’ve had the invaluable opportunity to work with both sides of the industry at the same time.

Hannah Perl.jpg
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.

Hannah Perl, Surrey Translation Bureau

Behind the scenes

Working in RM really does give you the opportunity to peek behind the curtain of the translation industry and see what’s truly going on ‘behind-the-scenes’. It is here that you learn about all the current industry trends, demands and requirements by keeping a close eye on in-demand languages, standard rates and popular specialisms.

After some introductory sessions which walked me through the core processes in place at STB, I was given the responsibility of making sure all of our freelancers’ profiles accurately reflected their most current language pairs, specialisms and preferences.

In an industry where linguists are encouraged to learn and develop their practice, these details can change regularly which is why it’s imperative to continually update our database. Having the right information ensures that on our side, we are selecting the right linguist for the job in hand, and from their side, we are assigning translators work they enjoy and best fit their areas of expertise, offering our clients the best quality possible.

It's important for RM to keep an open and friendly conversation going with our individual freelancers, which has meant that I have been able to meet, engage and learn from a wide range of professionals over the last three months. I have found this part of the internship particularly insightful and enjoyable.

I have also had the opportunity to hone my organisational and Microsoft Office skills to make sure we are keeping track of this ever-evolving data. This has been a great learning opportunity for me, as I’ve had little experience in this area to date and I now feel confident in creating and distributing large quantities of data in a clear and methodical manner.

In it together

By nature, RM is focused on supporting and managing our existing freelancers, but it also includes assisting our internal project managers in finding linguists to continue to meet client demand. This means working in close collaboration with both the Project management (PM) team and the Marketing department to search for and recruit new linguists.

This has strengthened my research skills in a professional context, as opposed to a purely academic one, like those I have used at university. I’ve also found out all about the clear procedures produced by the Operations team, which ensure that we are compliant at every stage of the recruitment process and that we always work in line with our ISO certifications.

Although I have been working as a resource management intern, I have been able to ask for help and support from everyone at every level in the STB office, even if my questions were not specifically related to their department. This is indicative of the STB way, where everyone supports each other and every question is met with a smile and willingness to offer up time to help. The welcoming and friendly nature of the STB office has been a real highlight of my time here and is something that I hope to find again in my future career.

My highlights

The real draw of this role is that people are at the heart of it. Being able to help freelancers with questions and queries in turn allowed me the unique opportunity to form friendly professional connections, which will be so valuable in my career moving forward. I have also enjoyed welcoming new linguists to the team and supporting them as much as possible through their recruitment process.

In these three months, 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. The team have made sure that my time at STB has been fun, interesting and educational at every stage and I cannot thank them enough for that!”

If you are interested in internship opportunities with Surrey Translation Bureau, please send your CV and a cover letter of what you would hope to gain from the experience to [email protected].