Name: Jan Rausch
Job Title: Conference & Business Interpreter
What is the story of your career to date?
Studied English and French and then worked as MFL teacher and Head of Department until 2009. Left education and did a one-year MA course in Interpreting and Translating. Became a freelance interpreter in 2010.
What does a typical day look like for you?
There is no typical day. That’s the beauty of it. But this kind of day best characterises my job: Get up in a hotel room, go down for breakfast and then to the hotel’s conference room. Find my interpreting booth and interpret the speakers of an event from there (English into German) alongside my booth partner, taking turns every 30 minutes. In the evening check materials for the next day and and then go out to explore the city with a few colleagues.
What skills do you think are important in your role?
Very strong foreign language skills of course. Multi-tasking. Working under stress. An open mind and interest in many topics. Business skills. Interpersonal skills. Being good with technology.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to do your job?
Make sure you have two strong languages (English plus one more). Find somewhere you can have a go at interpreting to see whether it really is something you could do. Save some money for the early days of your career as it takes a while to get established. Follow the news and have a curious mind.
Does your employer offer volunteering/apprenticeship opportunities?
What is the best thing about your job?
Learning something new every week, the variety of work, doing something not many people (can) do.
Where can I find out more?
University of Manchester (MA in Conference Interpreting); professional organisations: AIIC, ITI, CIoL