Last year, figures showed a slump in students taking foreign languages at UK universities and, as passionate linguists and specialists in our field, we are keen to encourage the next generation of language experts. That’s why we expanded our internship programme, which is aimed at university students and graduates, to include work experience students from local schools.
Our project management internship usually lasts for several months and is aimed at students from German-speaking countries. Our translation internship is specifically for English native speakers with German as a foreign language. We also offer a week of work experience for GCSE and A-level students or those about to go to university.
We asked our interns and work experience students to share their thoughts on their experience with you so you can get a better idea of what goes on at AST.
Isobel, work experience student 2017:
“When I first enquired at AST about the possibility of a work experience placement, my only real aim was to gain a little insight into one of the better-known professions involving the use of foreign languages. With an end goal of a degree in French and Spanish and a job which would utilise these skills, I felt that a translation company in an office environment would be a good starting point for my exploration of the options available and hoped that my work experience could provide me with a good base for understanding the translation industry. The team at AST did not disappoint! During my week in their office, I was given the chance to experience all aspects of the business, from in-house translation and project management to resources co-ordination and accounting. Every detail of each role was explained and demonstrated, and I was given the chance to perform tasks within each role myself where possible. This comprehensive experience of the business was invaluable as it allowed me to learn a huge amount about the kinds of skills and characteristics required for the different jobs, which I feel will be very helpful in the future when it comes to choosing a career path.
The team at AST were a huge part of why my placement was so successful. From the very first email to the final goodbye, Charlotte oversaw my experience with care and friendliness to ensure that it was valuable, engaging and comfortable. The rest of the team were also very welcoming and supportive throughout, meaning I was made to feel at ease in a new environment. All in all, my time at AST has been enjoyable, useful, and has made me feel very excited about the prospect of working in the languages industry in the future.”
Callum, work experience student 2018:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my week for work experience at AST. I learned a lot about how much there is to help you translate and that you are in no way simply left to your own devices. It was also nice to learn about freelancing and how being a translator doesn’t even need to be a full-time thing as well as the wide range of CAT tools that are used to help professional translators. I also enjoyed getting to know the IT side of translation businesses and the project management side, as it showed me that there are a lot of things to consider and a lot of things that are dependent on other tasks to keep a translation company going strong.
But most of all, I want to thank AST for how welcome everyone has made me feel. I’ve felt as though I’ve got a lot off my chest this week as my passion for languages is not something that I can just talk about with my friends or family as they simply don’t understand. It’s been nice to be around people who understand your experiences and can talk to you about any confusions you have. It’s also good to be able to share my experiences learning languages as everyone here seems to understand how difficult it has been for me and how much willpower I have needed to do what I’ve done. I would recommend the work experience here to anyone who is passionate about languages.”