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A taste of a career in languages and translation

We’re delighted to introduce Paula Campbell, our guest blog writer, who is currently an intern at Lingo24. Paula shares her impressions of working with a global translation company, and considers whether a career in languages is for her.

For months and months people have been asking me “What do you want to do when you leave school?” “What do you want to be when you’re older?” and my reply is always a muddled and ambiguous “I don’t know”.  Because I really don’t know. My mind is a swirling pit of “You can do anything you want in this world. So what are you going to do?”

I said for a while I was going to do Law. But that sharply fell through when I realised what “Law” actually entailed. So if not Law, what else? At school I enjoy all my subjects to an extent but am I truly passionate about them?  The one thing I am truly passionate about in my life is travelling. So surely studying a language is a no brainer.

Nowadays universities are harder to get into than Heaven.  In order to even be considered I need a shiny good deed on my conscience (and my UCAS application).  Something to put me ahead of the others (and those who go to church every Sunday).  My dad suggested I came and did work experience with him here at Lingo24. And I did. Experience working in a language company? How could I say no?

So at the beginning of my summer holiday, instead of sleeping till noon and wasting my time plonked in front of the TV, I came to work with my dad. I knew I wanted to come to Lingo24 to discover how a language company works and the various job possibilities that would be available to me if I were to pursue languages. But most importantly to see if translation was for me.

This is my final day at Lingo24 and I can’t believe how much I’ve done. Before coming here I assumed I would spend my days doing menial tasks such as photocopying or sharpening pencils, but in reality I did real jobs (or at least they seemed real). I felt like I had a lot of responsibility in some of the things I was asked to do considering I had just walked in here and was not qualified in any way. I didn’t feel like I was deserving or should be trusted to be doing the things I was doing. But still I did it and it was so much more fulfilling to actually be doing things that help the people here in the long run.

And of course I was gaining proper experience of a working environment rather than blisters from all that pencil sharpening I had in mind. As well as doing a tiny bit of photocopying, over the past two weeks I have done Competitor Analysis, and researched potential events for networking and promotion of Lingo24. I trolled through business magazines and found leads for the employees in Panama and the Philippines. I had to book the travel and accommodation for two Account Managers going to London (hopefully they didn’t end up in Timbuktu).  I helped Marketing come up with ideas to promote a survey, and lastly, but by no means least, I even got to attempt a real translation – with the emphasis on “attempt”!

Being at Lingo24, has definitely given me that step up I felt I needed. I know now I want to work somewhere similar – I love the relaxed atmosphere that the office has and I loved that I got to do something completely different every day, which is a thousand times better than the repetitious and tedious natures of many office jobs. I found out a lot about a career in languages and translation. Despite still being unsure whether translation, per se is for me. I know now for sure, I have to, I want to study a language. Whether at university I study French and German, or German and History, or something mad like Mandarin and Zoology, languages have to be there. And I say thank you to Lingo24 for helping me realise that.

Interested in a career with Lingo24? Check out the current vacancies, or find out how to become a translator with us.

Paula Campbell

Our guest blog writer, Paula Campbell, recently completed an internship with Lingo24. She shares her views and personal experience of the English influence on the languages and culture of Hong Kong.

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