Catharine Parravani

Developing as a leader

Name Catharine Parravani
College College of Humanities

Translation Business Project

Catharine recently completed the Translation MA, working from French and Spanish into English. During her studies, she took part on the extra-curricular event, the Translation Business Project.

For the Project, students work in teams in order to develop their translation business, sourcing, translating and reviewing chosen texts. Working together, each member of the team is given a unique role, such as acting as a translator, project manager, reviser or proof-reader. Each team is then required to present their work to a final Panel, the other teams and Mentors.  As Catharine explains, being an active team player is crucial to succeed on the Project:

“[T]he students definitely had to work together throughout this project, even though they also had their own roles. Some roles were more challenging than others, and in order for the whole team to be successful, the students needed to help each other. When deciding upon the roles, they needed to play to their strengths and always bear in mind the final product, including the presentation”.

The project also involved students creating a range of material, such as websites, Twitter feeds, and Facebook pages to create their own translation business, developing students’ skills as creative, enterprising learners.

“This creative, active learning approach definitely benefited everyone involved in the project, including us mentors. We saw such a variety of ideas and approaches to the task. It encouraged us to consider lots of different types of texts and realise that it is possible to choose a genre or specialism that suits you. We realised that everyone works differently and approaches tasks in different ways – it was refreshing and eye opening!”

Developing her skills as a leader, Catharine also took on the role of being a Mentor. This involved her supporting the teams as well as working with other Mentors to create a Blog to further publicise the Project. The Blog also featured interviews with former alumni, who have now a career in the Translation sector. This role has helped to develop Catharine’s transferable skills and provided her with a fantastic opportunity to learn about a career in Translation. As Catharine explains:

“I…relished the opportunity to meet local professional translators [and to] find out more about the profession from them. One of the speakers at the Round Table event, Cari Bottois, recently completed the MA at Exeter and has since started an organisation called Charity Translators. Charity Translators has now achieved charity status, and Alex Bessant (another mentor) and I volunteer with this organisation. This is a direct result from meeting Cari through the project, and it is providing us with invaluable experience working in the translation sector, further developing our translation, project management and marketing skills.”

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