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Thoughts on mentoring, mentors and mentees!

Aptrad was challenged by another association to write an article about its Mentoring Program!
As we only "run the show" we asked our Mentors and our Mentees - the real participants - to write the article! And here is the first one! Enjoy the reading!

Aptrad's three-month mentoring programme was intense. It forced me to distil my experience into a coherent toolkit of practical value for my two mentees, while taking their individual needs and expectations into account in separate weekly Skype sessions. Samuel's discipline and enquiring mind kept me on my toes; Sílvia taught me about Google Docs, and finding creative ways for Sílvia to figure out for herself how to juggle family, study and freelance translation work proved to be a tough challenge. Both mentees devoted time to hands-on translation practice too, and we examined the different demands Portuguese and English place on producing texts of good quality.

As confidence in their own abilities grows, I hope that the effort both Samuel and Sílvia made in tackling the complex realities of the Portuguese freelance translation market and in developing meaningful relationships with existing and potential clients will spur them on to find their true niche with time.

One unanticipated benefit for me was that my Portuguese improved; the personal milestone of writing a 1,000-word report at the end of the programme reminded me just how interactive and mutually rewarding the mentoring process can be.

Allison Wright - Aptrad's Mentor

One year after my participation in APTRAD’s mentoring programme, I can say it has been a very fruitful experience in both personal and professional terms. Thanks to my mentor, Allison Wright, I have developed a series of valuable skills, of which I will highlight only two:

I was given advice on how to find and approach direct clients and translation agencies both by e-mail and phone. My mentor helped me overcome my natural reticence and gave me guidance on how to negotiate on quotes and deadlines. Following her advice, I have been contacted by several national and international translation agencies and I have been successful in obtaining higher prices for both my translation and proofreading jobs.

My mentor also showed me the importance of good planning, and taught me how to set my own SMART goals. This proved to be a very useful exercise in that it helped me to develop better strategies to achieve my goals, and regularly keep track of my progress.

Given my very positive experience, I would urge translation professionals set aside any doubts or shyness they may have - and dare to participate in a mentoring programme!

Samuel Alexandre - Allison's Mentor (1st Edition)

The Aptrad mentoring programme armed me with the knowledge I need to develop my business as a freelance translator. Preparing a suitable CV, examining the practical aspects involved in professional translation, and receiving guidance on how to approach translation agencies - all these activities gave me a starting point from which I can map out a sensible way forward. I have a lot more self-confidence now!

I have received more enquiries from agencies since the programme ended, and although I have not received any work from them yet, I am on the list of two agencies in particular and in fairly regular contact with them. I continue to send my CV to translation agencies and look for suitable work on the internet while I complete my Master degree course.

One year later, I believe that Aptrad's programme was a very positive experience, not only because of the knowledge I gained and the greater sense of determination I now have, but also because of the relationship of trust established with my mentor, Allison, who continues to take a sincere interest in my progress.

Sílvia Maria Machinho - Allison's Mentor (1st Edition)



Publicada em: 19/12/2016


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4401-801 Vila Nova de Gaia

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E-mail: geral@aptrad.pt

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