Many of our colleagues have often remarked that they knew very little about Translation Project Management (TPM) until they actively started searching for jobs in the language industry. The role is well suited to so many language graduates (check out our blog on why we love the job to find out if it could be for you) and we don’t want any keen linguists to miss out on their ideal career. Here at Parallel we’re eager to spread the word about TPM, so our most recent recruits Summer, Ellen and Lizzie, along with Business Manager Laura and Operations Manager Paul, visited the University of Southampton in April to engage with the next cohort of potential Translation Project Managers.

 

Language Service Providers

The Language Services industry is valued at over $43bn worldwide, with 50% of its turnover in Europe. With a UK market value of £1.15bn, and over 12,000 staff in the language sector (which includes jobs in translation-technology companies as well as in the translation industry), why is it that language graduates think the only careers available to them are teaching or translating? Naturally, not everybody wants to follow one of those paths, but many grads still want a career that involves their languages. This is where Translation Project Management comes in: with exposure to dozens of different languages every day, as well as a varied workload and endless opportunities to learn, this role appeals to many language students. With that in mind, we approached the university staff (many of them our old lecturers) for their advice on how to raise awareness of TPM.

Building connections

When we spoke to the staff, it was clear that even they didn’t really know what TPM was! Despite having been aware of our company for years, and having seen many former students start their working lives here, it became evident that language tutors also need educating on what the role involves. If they have a better idea of what TPM consists of, they are in a much stronger position to inform their students about this potential career path. Knowing that we wanted to help increase knowledge about this role, we discussed the best way to get the word out and decided on giving a presentation to engage with current language students, outlining more about the language sector as a whole, as well as going into detail on the Translation Project Manager role. The event was a success; there was a strong turnout from 2nd year students and finalists, with some insightful questions being asked and positive feedback being given. We left the university having opened people’s eyes to a lesser-known route for language graduates, with lots of students suggesting that they might look into the role further or apply for jobs in this field.

We loved going back to the University of Southampton (where more than half of us at Parallel gained our degrees) and sharing the joy of our career. We’re keen to forge an even stronger relationship with the staff and students at the university and look forward to returning next year. As a result of our first presentation, we immediately received applications from this year’s finalists, and have already arranged to interview 3 candidates. We look forward to meeting them, and to continuing to spread the word about our industry and the role of the Translation Project Manager.

 

For a closer look at some of the statistics we mentioned, see the following websites:

Lingoking – The international language service market (undated)

European Commission Representation in the UK, CIOL & ITI – 2016/17 UK Translator Survey (May 2017)