The volunteer team at the Geneva office is a critical part of ICVolunteers, without which the organization could not run. Long-term volunteers, taking on responsibility for membership services, fundraising, translation and more, help the organization in a significant way. Each year, ICVolunteers offers a number of internships, in particular in the field of translation (specifically for English, French and Spanish). Louma Atallah and Caroline Daunes share their experience...
Louma Atallah, intern at the ICVolunteers office from April to June 2004: "I did the internship to gain professional experience. I was studying at the 'Ecole de traduction et d'interprÃ©tation' (ETI) in Geneva at the time. My job was to translate the annual report of ICVolunteers from English into French. Was it useful? Yes very much so. The experience gave me the opportunity to work quickly and efficiently on a long project, taking into account the constraints which present themselves. Roughly, there were constraints of time, quality, jargon of the field and the main idea one tries to transfer. I particularly enjoyed accomplishing a job from the beginning to the end. And also the initiatives that ICVolunteers let me take, and the confidence and encouragement of Viola (ICV Director) and Kathy (ICV Volunteer Coordinator). I have now just finished my studies and am looking for work."
Caroline Daunes was an intern from October to December 2004. She studied English in Toulouse and finished her studies in Vancouver (Canada). Back in Europe, she decided to complement her education with translation studies (French / English / German) at the ETI. Caroline: "I became an intern to be able to work and translate for an extended period of time. I wanted to know if I would still like it after some time. What I really appreciated was that RenÃ© [a longtime volunteer translator of ICV, ed.] reviewed my texts, and the work we did together. Moreover, the subjects were always interesting, never forbidding, and rich in content and substance. Conclusion: fortunately, I have made a good choice in the course of my studies!
My computer skills, were not completely up to date when I started, where the internship was very useful too. Some advice for colleagues: do not hesitate to ask when you are not sure about something. For instance concerning the terminology used by international and non-governmental organizations. Internships are useful insofar as they allow you to use what you have learned at university in a different context. It is useful for the hosting organization as well as the translator, a win-win situation for everyone."