When you suddenly need to know what a 'demurrage' is.
Jihui Zhu, a postgraduate student of Translation with Business Interpreting, shares her internship experience at the International Maritime Organization.
My internship broadened my horizons and enabled me to gain an in-depth understanding of the profession of an international organisation translator.
Why did you choose to study MA Translation with Business Interpreting at the University of Bath?
'The MA Translation with Business Interpreting is a course dedicated to students who want to pursue their career in translation and interpreting, training future graduates in a wide range of skills such as business interpreting and entrepreneurship. I chose this course due to its practical nature, and because it addresses all the issues in the real interpreting market. Also, Bath has an excellent reputation in the translation community.'
Tell us about your internship at the International Maritime Organisation in London.
'It was very interesting and rewarding. I was working within the English-Chinese translation unit where my main duty was to translate reports and documents on various topics, such as education or technical cooperation. Occasionally, I volunteered for the Staff Association Shop as a fund-raiser when the International Maritime Organisation was in between sessions.
'I also had the opportunity to observe the 41st session of the Facilitation Committee, and experience how international conferences work. I even spoke with some of the delegates and IMO staff at the meetings.'
What was the most challenging and the most rewarding part of your internship?
'Considering I worked at an International Maritime Organisation, I had to learn all the technical concepts related to shipping and maritime transportation, which was a bit challenging at the beginning.
'On the other hand, it broadened my horizons and enabled me to gain an in-depth understanding of the profession of an international organisation translator. I now understand what the job entails and how I can improve. The internship has also allowed me to gather enough resources for my Masters dissertation: Principles and Strategies of Translators at International Organizations: A Case Study of Translation Practices at the International Maritime Organization.'
How did your professional network develop?
'Thanks to the internship I made several acquaintances with many staff translators at IMO. During the interview, Mr Li, the Director at the Conference Division in IMO, shared his thoughts and insights over his 35-year career on being a life-long learner and a translator who can answer to both author and reader, which deepened my understanding of the profession.'
What advice would you give to a prospective MA Translation with Business Interpreting student?
'First, work on improving your bilingual competence, the basis for stepping into the profession. Second, find an area that you are interested in and build your expertise in this field. A successful translator/interpreter may need to find a niche market.'