As a third-year student in LEA (Applied Foreign Languages) degree at the Nancy University, I had to do an internship to validate my Bachelor. Last year (2013-2014) I only validated my first half-year so I had to repeat the year just for the second semester. This year, I guess you could say that I was on holiday during the first term and I decided to take advantage of the spare time and started looking for an internship.
It is not so easy to find an internship; it is better not to be finicky, but also not to jump at the fist offer, particularly if the field and company you are contemplating are not your cup of tea.I registered on different internship and job offer sites such as Indeed, Vivastreet, Adzuna…, I kept an eye on the website L’Etudiant and I contacted many companies: don’t hesitate to send numerous applications!
I did receive some answers, but nothing really interesting… Then, one fine day, I came across an advertisement on the Vivastreet internet site: Horizons University was looking for an intern in translation for 3 months. It was exactly what I wanted, there was just a glitch: the position was based in Paris. I said to myself “Come on, give it a try!”, and I went for it. From then on, it went really quite fast: they answered me, we set a date and as you might have figured out by now, I got the internship!
You probably wonder how I found an accommodation. Well it was quite simple: I knew someone who was kind enough to host me. If you do not have such luck, don’t worry, you can place an advertisement on Facebook or Twitter… or ask your contacts, you never know! It is always good to change location since it allows you to discover, learn new things, get around a bit, explore new experiences (always a plus on a CV!).
Although I was really glad I found the internship, there was always the stress of jumping into the unknown… Despite that, everything went fine during my first day: the team welcomed and accepted me . I jumped directly into the swing of things by translating a brochure. Don’t worry, it was not my only task! I also dealt with syllabi, the newsletter issues and blog articles, the Yearbook and Horizons University site and a series of official forms. Some tasks are easier than others, it depends on the content, and my tutor proofread my translations: told you, they all truly helped!
To translate the documents, I used the Robert & Collins dictionary (French-English / English-French), or online resources such as Larousse, Wordreference, Linguee… I did not make any glossary because I did not feel the need for it, but it is essential to some people, so do not hesitate to do one.
The internship is the final step of my Bachelor, and the university requires students to hand in a written report and present an oral defense. Drawing up the report and meeting the deadline has been a really stressful experience that included gathering the necessary information, writing, deciding on the layout, writing the required number of pages, proofreading, printing, and eventually sending the final document! Once it was all over, what a relief! (My advice for shipping the document: check out the deadline as well as the requirements for the report – how many copies should you send, should the report be paper-based or is a soft-copy acceptable, how long will the shipment take, what shipment option should you choose (recorded delivery/acknowledgement of receipt etc.)?
My translation internship at Horizons University brought me so much on the professional and personal level, I have really enjoyed performing the tasks that were assigned to me and the team has been so great. I sincerely recommend you to be on the lookout for their internships, you will not waste your time and will leave pleased!
By Mathilde Marie-Jeanne