An International Student of Literature in England.
This post is the first of a series of excellent news!
I got an internship with the British Centre for Literary Translation at UEA!
I first heard of the BCLT at the beginning of my first year at university because I took the module Reading Translations. I didn’t know much about them, but I remember the seminar leader giving us some stuff by and about the BCLT one day (booklets etc). Then, in second year, I took the module Reading and Writing Translations which was amazing! The seminar leader, Duncan Large, is the Academic Director of the Centre and had only arrived at UEA the previous year.
I’ve had a strong interest in translation (especially literary translation) for a long time – discovering translation back in college as part of my English classes, and truly learning to enjoy it at university in Nice. Some of my best memories are those of translation seminars in Nice with the amazing teachers I had, almost fighting with a friend of mine to see which one of us was the best translator. I loved it so much that one summer I started translating one of my favourite novels, The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing (an unfinished project but I’d translated about half the book). When I came to UEA and found out about their MA in Literary Translation, I’d decided that this is what I would do after my BA.
Since then, I have changed my mind about doing an MA and have decided that it might be safer for me to consider other careers but my passion for translation remains and I do not exclude going back to it in the future – even if it’s just for fun!
When I found out about the internship offered by the BCLT through the UEA Career Central website, before or during the Easter Break, I thought it would be perfect for me! The job would not involve any translation, but the thought of working with the BCLT, perhaps meet translators and make connections was what really appealed to me. And not only would I be able to gain a bit more work experience and stay busy and useful after submitting my final essays, but it meant I could be an intern for an organisation that I admire and that does an amazing job at promoting literary translation and helping translators develop.
During the Easter Break I received an email inviting me to an interview for this internship! I was so happy! If you’ve followed my blog for a while you might know how stressed thinking about applications, jobs and “after UEA” made me. This invitation was a good start.
The week I got back from the Easter break, I went for the interview which I thought had gone well. After it, I felt much more relaxed, headed to the library to work. I’d barely had time to sit when I received an email saying I was successful! I couldn’t believe it and I can’t say how much it boosted my confidence!
Although the internship is only two hours per week + one full week at the end of July during the Summer School, it was something!
The following week, the other intern and I met the BCLT co-ordinator who told us everything there was to know about the BCLT, the Summer School and the internship. The job description was really vague and she told us all the things we could possibly do and we were free to choose what we wanted to focus on! It all sounded very cool and exciting but, sadly, with only two hours per week, we can’t possibly do a quarter of what could be done.
With the other intern, we decided that it was probably better for us to focus on the social media and communication aspect because that it would be more useful to promote the work done the BCLT and the Summer School before and during it for a better (hopefully) outcome in the long-term.
I am really excited about what we’ll do in the next few weeks and already excited about the Summer School too! It’s made me remember how much I love translation and how important translation is. I really hope that our ideas and projects (making videos of the Summer School and profile videos of several PhD students) will work well and that our contribution will be useful for the BCLT!