I'm currently studying in MA CN-EN Interpreting and Translation and wish to find a job (freelancer or in-house) after graduation the next year. My trainers haven't mentioned anything regarding this issue as we've just started the term, but I heard the market here is quite competitive, the time is limited (applications need to be sent out before Christmas) and accreditation and working experiences matter a lot. In China there's sort of certificate to prove yourself to get a job, is there any similar prerequisite certificate/ accreditation to get besides degree before entering the market? For CI and SI respectively.
And about working experience, is there any interpreting/translating agencies or companies would like to hire interns (pay or without is fine) and how to find them? And after graduation, how could I find a job? I've visited some job fairs in campus, but unfortunately so far I haven't seen any interpreting agencies or companies of other industries looking for interpreters/ translators. It would be very helpful if any names of companies could be raised. Thanks a lot.
asked 20 Nov '16, 05:22
Hi Lynn, The MA in Conference Interpreting is usually good enough as a "certificate" proving you can interpret at (novice) professional level.
There are very few staff conference interpreting jobs anywhere with ZH-EN. If you look at this list of AIIC interpreters with ZH-EN then you'll see there are half a dozen staffers out of 90 interpreters and they almost all work for some branch of the UN. And there's a lot of competition for those few jobs, and vacancies are rare. Your teachers should be the best placed to give you advice about the local market for your language combination, so ask them.
Translation and types of interpreting other than conference interpreting may be different but I don't know enough about that to tell you anything useful. Apart from the fact that translation internships and jobs can be a useful preparation for an interpreting career (if the translations you do are on a subject matter that you will later want to interpret - eg. UN material).
answered 22 Nov '16, 04:05
As Andy points out, there might be fewer spots than there are graduates. You could look into the DPSI requirements to be able to work in legal and medical settings.
Having an agency using your services, billing your services to the end client but not paying you would be a bit questionable. Once you graduate, you're a professional. Granted, you are a beginner. Still, chefs who just opened their first restaurant don't give away food for free. Neither should you. Aim for an employer that would be interested in training you and keeping you on the team afterwards.
I'd recommend asking your trainers. That is what I did when I was facing the same questions about my future and the ways to get on the market. Each trainer would tell on which markets they worked and tell us a few war stories, share best practices, etc. Knowing what market to expect, how practicalities work in the profession, what is needed to get a foot in the door was an informal, yet essential part of our training.
Universities (Bath, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle,...) are training EN-ZH galore. Many webpages tell you where interpreters could work, giving the impression that you'll end up working at UN HQ in no time. But they seldom tell where their graduates actually ended up. The devil is in the detail.
Get (back) in touch with the alumni. Where are they working now? They can give you valuable recent first hand experience on how difficult things really are and what they wish they had known when they were in your shoes.
answered 22 Nov '16, 06:34