Students from across Scotland recently attended the fourth annual careers event "Starting Work as a Translator or Interpreter". Organised jointly by Heriot-Watt's department of Languages & Intercultural Studies and the Careers Service, the event gives students an opportunity to learn from employers and professional practitioners working in the field, including many of our valued Heriot-Watt alumni.
Contributions from Heriot-Watt alumni
This year there were excellent contributions from languages alumni: Stephen Mills from the European Commission's Directorate General of Translation in Brussels and Kim Scouller, Translation Project Manager at Rubric, global language solutions provider with a major office in Edinburgh. Other valuable contributions came from alumni Rebecca Hendry on the practical side of setting up and working as a freelance translator, Victoria Dalrymple on the pros and cons of working in-house versus freelance and Elena Zina on setting up and working as an interpreter and subtitler.
In addition, Karin Bosshart, a local representative from the Institute of Translation & Interpreting Scottish Network (and a Heriot-Watt alumnus as well) highlighted the importance of professional development and networking through membership of relevant professional bodies. Leading language solutions provider The Big Word talked to students about how agencies work and what they expect from their translators and interpreters.
The strong alumni network and the continuous support from the Careers Service has helped contribute to the department achieving an impressive figure of 84.2% graduates either in further study or graduate level employment six months after graduation for the latest cohort of data available.
Fanny Chouc, Careers Liaison Officer in the languages department said: "I had a real sense of pride to see our alumni take to the floor and offer such comprehensive and helpful advice with such ease. It feels pretty good to work for the department which may have helped towards their success in the workplace. And our students and alumni are fortunate: they can benefit from real, constructive help and support from our Career Services department, which has developed a real expertise in these specific fields and has helped many alumni get on the job market."
Final year student Eugenio Lucarelli commented about the event: "I now feel a lot more relaxed about starting a career as a freelance translator/interpreter. Thanks to great tips from our alumni, now experts in the field".
His classmate, Luiza Pagoswki also rated the event highly in terms of the impact on her confidence: "I believe that the event greatly boosted my confidence in terms of what to do after university, as I already had some kind of an idea, but I was not sure if I was going into the right direction. The whole event was very well organised and made me go home excited about the future and very motivated."