Mentoring scheme
Thread poster: Ella Turner
Ella Turner
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:34
Spanish to English
Aug 4, 2015

Hello everyone,

I am a new translator with a language combination ES>EN just embarking (hopefully!) on a career in the translation industry, and am interested in finding a mentor to guide me through this initial process. I already have some translation experience but I think having an experienced mentor could be invaluable at this stage. I know there is a mentor scheme offered here on proz to full members, which I am not yet, but would be happy to become a full member if the mentoring scheme seemed to be something which would be useful to me.

I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with the proz mentoring scheme, and whether they would recommend it to me? Or if anyone has any advice for me about other ways of finding a mentor that would also be really helpful!

I will really appreciate any help or advice anyone can give me,

Thank you!

Ella


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JoshuaV-M
Mexico
Local time: 04:34
Spanish to English
I've had... Aug 4, 2015

...some time in the industry now (about a year and a half), but I have wondered about this program too and whether it would a valuable professional investment. Coincidentally, I work in the same language pair as you. I will be looking forward to what those with experience in the scheme (as mentors or mentored translators) say.

[Edited at 2015-08-05 00:03 GMT]


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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:34
Member (2012)
French to English
I've had experience of the mentoring scheme Aug 5, 2015

I had a mentor for a while after getting my MA in translation. I found it a good way of getting some practical experience in the translation industry. One of the downsides was that the work was low-paid. Also, although I did a lot of work, I never actually made any contacts in the industry, as all the transactions were done via the mentor.

I believe the ProZ mentors vary in the kind of help they offer - some will offer the opportunity to do paid work, while others will simply offer advice on your CV, setting up a website, etc.

I don't know if it's possible to see the list of mentors if you're not a member. If you can, perhaps it would be a good idea to write to the ones offering your language combination and ask them if they are able to help you. If you like what they are offering, then you could go ahead and become a paid member.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:34
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Don't expect too much Aug 5, 2015

Elizabeth Tamblin wrote:
One of the downsides was that the work was low-paid.

I would imagine that this was work for the mentors own clients, which could only be delivered when up to his/her normal standards. Therefore, this would have taken the mentor some time and would mean that you weren't paid the full rate. No 'profit' for the mentor in that so I think it's reasonable. Of course, they aren't supposed to use you as cheap labour.

Also, although I did a lot of work, I never actually made any contacts in the industry, as all the transactions were done via the mentor.

That doesn't surprise me in the least. We're all very shy about sharing our clients!


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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:34
Member (2012)
French to English
You're right, Sheila Aug 5, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Elizabeth Tamblin wrote:
One of the downsides was that the work was low-paid.

I would imagine that this was work for the mentors own clients, which could only be delivered when up to his/her normal standards. Therefore, this would have taken the mentor some time and would mean that you weren't paid the full rate. No 'profit' for the mentor in that so I think it's reasonable. Of course, they aren't supposed to use you as cheap labour.

Also, although I did a lot of work, I never actually made any contacts in the industry, as all the transactions were done via the mentor.

That doesn't surprise me in the least. We're all very shy about sharing our clients!


Just to be clear, I didn't mean my remarks as a criticism of the mentor. I think it is important for the apprentice to make sure s/he understands what the mentor is offering.


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Ella Turner
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:34
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Aug 5, 2015

Thank you everyone for your responses.

It seems that the mentor scheme is still a worthwhile thing to be involved in, in terms of getting feedback on my work. I have contacted some mentors on the list to see what kind of help they can offer me.

Thank you for your useful feedback!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:34
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Just to be clear, II Aug 5, 2015

Elizabeth Tamblin wrote:
Just to be clear, I didn't mean my remarks as a criticism of the mentor.

I didn't mean my remarks to mean that I thought you meant your remarks as criticism, either0
I think it is important for the apprentice to make sure s/he understands what the mentor is offering.

I agree. And as far as I know they are free to offer various types of help, as you said earlier:
I believe the ProZ mentors vary in the kind of help they offer - some will offer the opportunity to do paid work, while others will simply offer advice on your CV, setting up a website, etc.

Some people need help with the techniques of translating; others need to know that they've got things right, or at least to know they are delivering only what's right, rather than just hoping it's OK; yet others feel they can translate fine, but marketing or negotiating isn't their forté; or maybe they haven't got to grips with running a business legally.


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