I love working as a freelance translator. I love the flexibility, the ability to work from anywhere, and the fact that I can do it in my pajamas—but above all, I love that it gives me the opportunity to do something different every day. I work with private clients and international organizations on a range of issues such as human rights, environmental conservation, migration, climate change, gender equality, data protection, peace and security, tourism and international law, just to name a few.
The skills I learned at the Middlebury Institute didn’t just improve my ability to translate; they helped me become a better writer in my native language as well. This has allowed me to keep things interesting by working as a précis-writer, editor, copywriter, and occasional transcriber. One of my favorite non-translation jobs is writing guidebooks for European tours and putting them together in InDesign (a skill I learned in one of the localization courses I took while attending the Institute). After graduation, I interned with the English Translation Service at UN Headquarters in New York. That amazing opportunity was made possible through the Institute’s partnership with the United Nations, and I continue to benefit from that connection as a regular freelancer for the UN.
The Center for Advising and Career Services was instrumental in launching my career, as the internship at the UN led to a number of other opportunities. Professors Julie Johnson and Holly Mikkelson taught me the skills I needed to be a successful translator, and in the Translation and Interpretation as a Profession course, I learned everything that I needed to know to start my own business. I really appreciated the flexibility of my degree track, which allowed me to take a number of electives, particularly in localization.
Cultivate Friendships and Build a Network
As far as advice for current students, I should add that, while freelancing has a lot of perks, it can also be lonely work. My MIIS network of friends and colleagues provides support and a pool of qualified freelancers that I can draw from when I have too much on my plate. Be sure to cultivate friendships and take advantage of this extensive network in pursuing your dreams.