| by Rachel Echeto MATI ’20


Echeto, Rachel
Rachel Echeto MATI ’20 working the interpretation booth at a recent conference in Washington, D.C. 

Middlebury Institute graduates discuss where they are working today, how the Institute helped them get there, and what advice they’d give to current and future MIIS students.

My name is Rachel Echeto and I graduated with an MA in Translation and Interpretation from the Middlebury Institute in 2020. My language of study was Spanish. I interned with the U.S. Commercial Service in Mexico City, Mexico, and now I am a freelance Spanish-English translator and interpreter based in Washington, D.C.

Rachel Echeto second photo
Rachel Echeto MATI ’20

I found my internship with the U.S. Commercial Service on the Institute’s career management platform. The advising and support I received from the Center for Advising and Career Services was helpful in finding this internship. The internship gave me a great opportunity to expand my subject matter, cultural, and language expertise in general, which I have been able to use since in my role as a freelancer. I also worked as an in-house translator for a Mexican company for about a year before I decided to become a full-time freelance translator and interpreter based in Washington, D.C.

Focus on Your Interests and Be Willing to Take Chances

My best advice to current students is to apply to something that interests you or that you think has value for you, even if it doesn’t seem like the most “logical” choice for your program! My internship was definitely targeting International Trade students, and as a Translation and Interpretation student I did not expect at all to get any response from my application. But I knew I wanted to be in the Spanish-speaking world, I knew I was interested in working for governments or international institutions, and I thought I’d give it a shot and see what happened.

My internship technically had nothing to do with translation, but I was exposed to so many things that would serve me well in the future, and even just being in Mexico City presented me with opportunities to further my career as a translator that I might not have had even if I’d done a translation-focused internship! I’m so glad I decided to do something that wasn’t necessarily related to my degree’s focus for the summer, because I had the benefit of widening my subject-matter expertise on something completely new and was able to tie it all back to my degree anyway!