This is my last day at Lingua Translations, and therefore I cannot escape the traditional chore of leaving interns: writing a farewell blog. I came here at the end of August and was welcomed by lovely sunshine; now it’s rainy and so I am a little bit homesick and ready to go back home. Months ago, when I was told I’d won the University Challenge, I was really excited but still couldn’t figure out what I was going to do. Joking with my friends I imagined a huge building full of translators bent over their desks tackling their day away, like in some Chinese factory.

What I found here, needless to say, is totally different. The cosy office where Lingua Translations has its headquarters is occupied by a dedicated  team of skilful young women working in a focussed yet relaxed atmosphere. Another thing you perceive as soon as you enter Lingua Translations’ office is a sense of internationalism, with people coming from different parts of Europe as well as from the USA. The whole world flows through their computer screens, whether to find an interpreter in central Russia or a translator for some Middle Eastern language or even for an Italian dialect!

I won the University Challenge for my  translating abilities, and came here to see the other side of the job, the commercial one. Big translation projects are difficult to deal with for a single translator, so project managing is a vital process in the translation industry in order to satisfy the clients’ requirements. I was also impressed by their kind and friendly customer service, which to my Italian eyes is a very valuable British trait.

As no translation is done in the office (although I’ve been advising in the translation of Lingua Translations’ website into Italian), the recruitment and vetting procedures for translators and interpreters are extremely important. The ability to source the right people for each project is what makes the difference in the translation industry, and that’s probably why Lingua Translations can proudly sport their client portfolio, which includes prestigous companies and multinationals.

What I’m bringing home with me from this experience is the importance of teamwork, and the feeling you have when you know you can rely on your colleagues if there’s any problem with the work you’re doing.

What I can tell to other university students who are willing to test themselves in a real translation industry context is: come on, have a go, do your best; the next University Challenge champion may be you!