Today, classes start up again on the Master’s in Conference Interpreting at the University of La Laguna. And while I won’t actually meet my new students in person for a couple of weeks (too much work-related travel getting in the way), I would like to take this opportunity to welcome them virtually to the training course.
While I’m at it, perhaps I could share with readers what my blogging plan will be for the next few months. When I launched the Interpreter Diaries, I set myself three main goals:
1) offer useful information about the conference interpreting profession to those who might be considering it as a career
2) give readers an inside look at conference interpreter training and guidance to students currently on a course
3) share useful information for new interpreters trying to break into the market.
For the past year and a half, I’ve been slowly working my way through this plan. The posts I wrote for the first series in the spring and summer of 2011 can be found under the category “for aspiring interpreters”. The second series, “for interpreting students”, was written over the course of the past academic year, between September 2011 and June 2012. Now I think it’s about time I tackled my third and final goal and started addressing topics of interpretes to new interpreters just starting out in the profession. I have published a few posts on the topic, which you’ll find under the category “for recent graduates”, but the section is still looking pretty anemic, and it’s time I changed that.
So, basically, what I’d like to know from you is: what issues would you like me to address under this category? What would recent graduates of a conference interpreting course like to know? I have some ideas of my own and have already started drafting a list of possible topics, but I’d appreciate some input. You can share your question in the comments section below, or tweet me your concerns at @InterpDiaries, or post a question on my wall in Facebook.
I’m certainly no expert in the subject of how to get a job as an interpreter, but I promise to do the best I can to answer your questions. And if I can’t come up with an answer, maybe I will know someone who can!
P.S. If you are a student of conference interpreting just starting your Master’s now and you want to find relevant articles for your stage of training, just flip back in the archives (located in the bar at the bottom of my homepage) and see what I posted starting last September.
Many thanks for taking the initiative on this one; as a recent graduate myself I think I may have one or two suggestions! These may apply particularly to UK universities, due to the nature of the training on offer, but they are certainly concerns that have been expressed by a great many colleagues and fellow students. Throughout our masters, students were constantly worried about where they would actually be able to find work. The focus from our tutors was almost entirely on Brussels and Geneva, and although a few of us were lucky enough to break into these markets and their related institutions, there is still a great deal of concern as to where people can look for work outside of these two markets. Although a bit vague, I’m sure it would be widely appreciated if you could write a post on potential markets (aside from the big two), how to assess the potential of a market, and how recent graduates should go about marketing themselves in their chosen geographical/thematic area.
Equally worrying for many graduates of UK masters (and something that still sees me periodically breaking out into a hot sweat!) is the necessity of a retour. If it becomes apparent that working both ways is a career prerequisite, how should a recent graduate go about working on it, and indeed finding the motivation to do so after having completed one’s masters. And how can one assess when a retour is something one should advertise? I have on occasion found myself under pressure to work into French, but it is not something I claim to be capable of and would not feel comfortable that the quality would be high enough.
I hope that serves as a bit of a starting point!
I second what was said above. Currently, I am recent graduate who this year has just started working in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I do consider a potential move to Europe in maybe 4-5 years, as I am a European citizen as well. I would love to read about work opportunities in Europe, especially outside of the more advertised Brussels/Geneva markets.
Also, any advice for those of us who are just starting on how to build in practice time into our schedules will be of great value. I find it is a bit of a shock for most of us, going from many hours of supervised practice a week to only those hours which you set up and manage to stick to on your own.
Thanks for blogging, I love reading your posts!
Heyyy I’ve been waiting for you to get stuck into that topic! +1 for In One Ear’s suggestion. But what is a ‘retour’? Do I understand that it’s something to do with interpreting into one’s B langage?
I am facing graduation soon; looking forward to making the big bucks, but worrying about it at the same time.
I’m sure that theinterpreterdiaries will be very helpful in preparing me for the real world.
Here’s something that our teachers haven’t taught us: What is the information you get about the conference before actually attending it? The title? Title and speakers? Title, speakers, topics??
Do you practice much? Anything in particular?
Have you made an international move in order to get closer to a bigger market?
Thanks very much. As you might guess, I’m eager to pick the brain of an experienced interpreter.
Thanks very much for the input! It’s great to hear from you all. Your questions and comments have been duly noted – I’ll see what I can do to come up with some satisfactory answers! 🙂
I would like to suggest one topic of big concern nowadays “Interpreting for private organizations” as interpreting is always seen as focused on public institutions and this leaves recent graduates with the feeling that outside UN and UE there is nothing they can professionally achieve. So it will be very enriching having some tips about preparing ourselves for private events, marketing strategies for interpreters who want to focus on private enterprises and so on
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