Intern training in project management of translations.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
Overall, this was a really worthwhile internship; you learn a lot of general skills by carrying out daily office tasks/administration, and you get some good experience of the translation industry as well. The work is a mixture of interesting tasks, and others which are somewhat repetitive.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The people here are so friendly and welcoming; they always make a point of thanking you for the work that you do, and they seem to genuinely care about the interns joining the company. I always felt like I was treated with respect and that my time was not taken for granted.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
This depends very much on the mentor and supervisor in question. Interns are given their own mentor, and they are also given support by the team leader of whichever department they are working in. Some mentors and team leaders have a more hands on approach than others, so this is really luck of the draw. My mentor was incredibly patient and friendly, and I felt I could rely on him for help whenever I needed it. On the other hand, my project management training was given to me a lot later than to other interns, so there was definitely some room for improvement here.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
I was working at the company during the busiest time of year and in a very busy department, so I was very busy for most of my internship. There's always plenty of tasks to do so it's unlikely an intern would ever be bored with nothing to do, but I did feel that I was overloaded with work at the busiest times.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I gradually built up responsibility as the team trusted me more, and by the end of the internship, I was managing individual client and corporate client requests. I also got the chance to work on a linguist recruitment project which interns carried out individually.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
Since I have already graduated, the skills I picked up at Language Connect didn't have an effect on that. However, I do think that my experience with managing translation projects (time management, client interaction, working under pressure) will be very useful in my future career.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The people were very genuine and down to earth, and there was certainly a relaxed atmosphere at times. I would say that my team did not communicate very much in person; everyone used skype and other instant messaging tools to communicate, even when sat next to each other, which I found quite impersonal. It would have made for a much nicer atmosphere if people communicated more face to face, especially in the morning when everyone arrives to work.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
There had clearly been a lot of thought put into the internships, and as I said before, interns were definitely valued in the company. There were lots of resources for interns in a shared drive on the system which was very useful. I think the internship could have had more structure so that training was organised more effectively, but in general it was fine.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
Everyone in my team was more than happy to help me out and give me ad hoc training if I needed it/asked for it, and my mentor in particular was always willing to train me. I asked for extra training sessions and my mentor was more than happy to accommodate this.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
There is really great progression from the internship to a full-time position in the company; the company is growing quickly and positions opened up in a lot of the teams while I was there. If you impress your mentor and teammate, there is definitely a good chance you will be able to stay on at the company. The company really welcomes applications from interns for full-time roles.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
This was a real plus-point of the company; there was a really diverse mix of interns and full-time members of staff, from all across the world. The people were very sociable and we often went to local bars after work, or tried out local cafes/restaurants. There is a social team at Language Connect who organise several events throughout the year, including an event at Christmas and one during the summer.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
This was a very expensive area, but so is the majority of London, so it was by no means more pricey than anywhere else in central London.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife was really good, the immediate area surrounding the office was full of interesting bars, it's definitely a lively area in the evenings! The nightlife was limited to bars rather than clubs, but certainly it was a great area to have a drink after work on a Friday with work friends.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
Aside from the opportunities to socialise with team members or other work colleagues, I didn't really come across many opportunities for getting involved in activities outside of work. I do know, however, that the company does organise translation and interpreting taster sessions for school pupils studying languages, so depending on when these are run, there might be a chance to get involved in this kind of activity.