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Posted on10 October 2012

Where are they now – work placement feedback

As part of an entry for a Supporting Young People award, we  asked some of our former placements to let us know what they are doing now – and how they look back on their placement. Here’s another one:

Stephanie  – Placement, then Project Manager.

Today, I run my own company, working as a sled dog guide in the winter and as a freelance translator in the summer.

Back then:

I was studying for a Masters in Translation (English/German into French) in France. I needed to do a five month work placement to complete my Masters. I sent my application to Atlas Translations and completed a translation test. They accepted my application and I moved to London in April 1998. I had never worked in a professional environment before and I remember being very shy and nervous during my first week. My supervisor really looked after me, taking the time to explain how things were working in the company.

As a trainee, I got the chance to be trusted with many different tasks, from small translation jobs to audio transcription work, credit control, contacting Atlas’ suppliers and clients. I remember speaking on the phone to some of my fellow students who were doing work placements in other companies. They were saying how they were given non-important, repetitive and often boring tasks. And I remember feeling quite lucky at Atlas, as I was challenged with many different things and trusted with important work.

During my time as a trainee, my supervisor gave me the opportunity to manage small projects for their clients. I discovered that I enjoyed much more working as a Project Manager than as a translator. It was a fantastic eye-opener which allowed me to pursue a career in Project Management for ten years.

On a more personal level, the staff at Atlas Translations became my friends and we socialised outside the office. For a young French girl, fresh out of university, in a totally foreign environment, far away from home, friends and family, this was wonderful. With my colleagues, I discovered and came to love London where I lived for ten years.

After completing my work placement in August 1998, I went back to France and graduated. Just a month later, Clare Suttie contacted me as they were hiring a new Project Manager and wanted to offer me the position. It did not take me long to accept her offer!

Working at Atlas Translations as a Project Manager has proven to be a very important time in my career. At some point, I helped a client with subtitling requirements. I got the opportunity to spend a couple of days in our supplier’s office to learn about the technical requirements of subtitling.

After about two years at Atlas Translations, I joined a company developing a subtitling program. They actually hired me due to my subtitling experience gained at Atlas Translations. Unfortunately, they suffered from the economy in 2001 and were forced to let me go. But less than a month later, I was hired by the subtitling company whom had been my supplier at Atlas Translations! Small world…

I continued working in the subtitling industry for the next 7 years. However, in 2008, following my love for nature and animals, I had the opportunity to move to the North of Sweden to work as a dog handler and a sled dog guide for a tour guide company.

Find out more about our work placement programme here:

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