Internship programmes are a common starting point for careers launched upon obtaining your university diploma – but they also happen to be the first step on an entirely different professional path when we decide to dive into a new industry. Opportunities for students include exploring the mysteries of a profession and learning whether daily operations align with their expectations towards the job they’ve chosen.


One could say that internships and apprenticeships are very much an Alingua thing – after all, over half of our in-house team gained their initial work experience this way! For many years we’ve been carefully following the interns’ impressions, with feedback allowing us to constantly improve the process so that our cooperation brings satisfaction to both parties.



Translation internship programme – where to start?


If you’ve been wondering how to get into a translation internship programme, it’s worth remembering about proper timing. Speaking from experience, we can say that spots for the first half of the year are usually gone before we actually welcome the new year. That’s why it’s worth asking earlier, preferably a few months ahead of the planned internship date. Reserving this much time allows you to secure a spot and sort out all the necessary paperwork issues. If you’re a journal person or you can’t do without a digital calendar, it’s recommended to mark the date when your internship is about to commence. It’s not that hard to forget about the day with a couple of months of waiting ahead!


Internship coordinator learns the most about you from your resume. Remember to take a critical look at it. You’re applying for an internship at a place where people look for mistakes for a living: put yourself in their shoes and read the text thoroughly. It’s also a good idea to ask someone else for help, preferably a person who hasn’t seen the document yet. Another person is likely to catch mistakes that escaped your attention. Ready? Remember to save the file as .pdf. By doing so you can rest assured that the recipient won’t have any trouble opening the document and that its formatting will be retained. There’s one more thing you should remember: the email exchange itself speaks volumes. Pay attention to proper polite forms of address and your punctuation.



Your scope of work: what do interns do during their training at a translation agency?


Every agency resembles a meticulous and perfectly working mechanism. There’s one thing behind its successful operation: following the established rules of conduct. On their first day at the office, our interns are asked to read procedures that give them both general, as well as more specific methods of handling particular situations. You might want to keep them at hand, as they do come useful at later stages of work: it’s very likely that they have the answers to many of your questions!


The scope of tasks entrusted to interns and trainees certainly differs depending on a company, but there are some elements you may expect at every translation agency. Working with text is fundamental, but it comes in a variety of ways: from proofreading tasks to translations and preparing non-editable files for further work. In a vast majority of cases employees are overseeing your work. They’re here to help you and they’re doing their best to provide helpful tips. Any doubts? Don’t hesitate to ask: your more experienced colleagues are eager to share the knowledge which might seem to be shrouded in mystery at first.



How to tame a CAT: modern technologies in practice


At Alingua we encourage our interns to be open and explore new technologies in translation. One of these solutions is working with the memoQ software: during their time at Alingua, our interns have a chance to give it a try, which gives them advantage both during university classes and while starting their professional career.


For sure an opportunity will also arise to discuss legal aspects of using such tools. Here it’s especially worth taking a closer look at AI-based solutions and machine translations, as well as all the common pitfalls to avoid.



Is it worth to become an intern at a translation agency?


Sometimes an internship is just a university requirement, sometimes it’s the first step on an adventurous journey towards your dream job. No matter what made you interested in interning at a translation agency, do your best to make the most of your time there. Approaching new tasks with an open mind and communicating in an honest way will help you gain priceless experience that may become useful when you least expect it.


If you see yourself as a translator in the future, want to know all the details regarding the profession of an editor, proofreader or copywriter, an internship at a translation agency is exactly what you need. Or perhaps you’re wondering if the way you imagine the operation of a translation agency is correct?


Maybe it will be the first time you handle certified translations, maybe you don’t know where to find the ‘track changes’ mode yet, or maybe it’s interpreting that you’re most interested in. We’ve all been there, just starting our journey, with plenty of unknown: that’s why we recommend joining the Alingua internship program to learn and dispel the myths and doubts. Who knows: maybe one day you will become a part of our team?