Getting into…the language industry

Jane C
This week, Jane Crossley, Project Manager at Andiamo! Language Services Ltd , tells us all about how to get into the industry. Jane also offers excellent advice about breaking into this, sometimes niche, field of work. 


My current role:

My day-to-day role is quite varied as I not only manage one of the company’s key clients who I’m in contact with most days, but I also manage the Projects team which is quite a diverse role in itself. This includes, for example, answering queries, resolving any technical issues related to the translation software we use, holding team meetings and helping out when it gets busy. Having been at the company for almost five years, I’ve worked in various positions such as Project Controller, Interpreting Co-ordinator and now Team Leader, and use this experience to help my team as much as I can. Managing one of our key clients also keeps me quite busy with lots of project requests which requires me to prepare quotes, analyse files using specialist software and source suppliers. It’s nice to have one or two long-standing clients as I enjoy building up a rapport with them and their suppliers.
Although the role is mainly office-based, we do manage to get out and about when attending exhibitions, trade fairs and industry conferences which makes a change to writing emails and checking translations! These outings provide a great opportunity to meet prospective clients and find out a bit more of what’s going on in their industry as well as our own.

Previous experience and how I got the job:

During my undergraduate degree at the University of Exeter, I decided to apply for an internship with a translation company in Berlin for my Year Abroad. It was a very enjoyable experience and gave me a good insight to the industry and I got to know one of my now-favourite cities really well! After graduating, I had a couple of different roles, including working for a publishing company, but I missed working with languages, and particularly translation, so I started doing voluntary translation work and used this experience when applying for the Masters in Applied Translation at Leeds. The course provided me with a good mix of translation theory and practical experience. For example, on the course we had the opportunity to manage a translation project which was quite nerve-wracking at first but I’m glad I did it as it meant that I had some experience to reflect on when I had my interview at Andiamo! If you have similar opportunities on your course to gain practical experience in the job or industry you are interested in, I would highlight recommend it, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone!

Advice about getting into the Language Services Industry

Although it’s quite a niche industry, there are more and more language service providers out there which means that there is more opportunity to get involved in the projects side of it, rather than going down the freelancer route. Universities arrange talks by people in the profession, and this is a good opportunity to find out more information and also gives you a chance to network! Whilst at Leeds, I went to every talk I could to help me decide what route I wanted to take and found them really useful, particularly when they were given by Leeds Alumni, as I could relate their experience to mine. It also helps to get as much experience in your chosen field as you can, whether that be organised by the university or by applying to companies for internships.

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