Tuesday September 18, 2018 - Posted by: Lauren Thompson
Over the summer, Locaria had the pleasure of welcoming our new intern, April Wong, to the team. April is an alumna of King Edward’s High School for Girls and is entering her last year at Edinburgh University, where she majors in English literature and Russian Languages studies. After spending the month of August with us, we caught up with April to find out how her experience went.
When you started your internship at Locaria, did you have any specific goals, things you wanted to achieve or learn during your time here with us?
This is my first ever internship, so I thought I was just going to be doing coffee rounds and photocopying. I had no goals per se, I just wanted to learn as much as I could. I learnt about so many jobs and roles within the company that I previously never knew existed. I went in totally open-minded and ready to try anything. My main goal was to learn about Locaria. About the people that work here, what you do, what it’s like working here, and how the business works.
What did you know about localisation, translation, and the industry before you started?
Zero! I’ve obviously heard of digital marketing, but I’m a normal person that uses Google. I think many people assume that companies just pay and somehow, they just end up first in your Google results page. I’ve learned it’s more complicated than that. In terms of PPC, SEO, ad-copy, keywords, all of that – I went in completely blind. I remember on my first day sitting in PPC training and everything was brand new to me. I knew what PPC stands for, but that was the extent of my knowledge. Now things are very different, I’ve learnt a lot!
Going in, which skills and experiences did you already have that you believe helped you with this role? How did they end up being of use?
In terms of work experience, I’ve never worked in an office, that was totally new. I’ve never done so much digital work on screens before, either. In terms of my skill set, I like working with people, and I have language skills which came in handy when I worked on some translation. I do English literature as part of my degree, so writing comes quite naturally to me. This especially helped with writing my blog post, in which I wrote about Vkontakte, Russia’s biggest social platform. That was a nice independent project to do outside of the other tasks I was given
What did you get up to while you were here?
People gave me lots to do, and it meant that I got to work and communicate with several different people on various tasks. The vendor management I did for my market research project was one of the most interesting things I got to work on. I worked on a fashion project, and worked on a separate vendor management task for Scandinavian recruitment. Many of the tasks had things in common, but were also very unique in their own ways and offered the chance to learn a range of new skills. One of the great things was the people I was working with went over everything in detail, step by step, which was great because I wanted to do everything perfectly.
I got to experience what it was like to do things on my own, as well as with other people. I 100% got the guidance I needed for the tasks I worked on, I got super detailed instructions – down to a T! I was able to ask a lot of questions whenever things came up that I wasn’t sure about. It was nice to have the responsibility. In terms of what I was doing I was never ever lost, and if I ever had a question it was really easy to get the help I needed – I can’t fault anyone on that. Everyone was so willing to help, all I had to do was ask.
There are lots of different nationalities and cultures to engage with at Locaria. It was so interesting to see how different people interact and do their work and handle tasks. Everyone is very curious and open-minded – Locaria is a very international company and it’s clear that everyone here is very passionate about what they do!
What was your favourite thing to work on during your time with us?
Most of my time, and the biggest tasks I worked on involved vendor management. It’s hard to pick a favourite though, as work was only one aspect of this internship. I was lucky I got to do so much training, too – it really broadened my horizons. As I said, previously I didn’t know half of these things existed. Being thrown into training taught me so much. In terms of work, because most of my time was spent on vendor management, I’d probably say that was my favourite. I’ve done a lot of things, I was filling in my task log and it really hit me: my days have been choc-a-block! I’m really grateful for that, I was never bored.
The market research project I worked on was about fashion e-commerce and digital markets in Russia, China, Thailand and Indonesia. It was fascinating, because fashion is something I’m interested in, and online fashion markets in Thailand and Indonesia weren’t something I had any knowledge of before.
What have you learned about translation and localisation, and the nature of what we do here during your internship?
I’ve learned so much, all the behind the scenes stuff that I didn’t know goes into a website, for Google ads, people who freelance. I knew translators were out there, but I’ve worked on so many languages now, some of which I didn’t even know existed. I found the recruitment process really interesting. It’s all been a very big learning curve.
Coming to the end of your internship, what skills/experiences did you gain? How could they be valuable to you in the future?
Working with people in an office setting, setting up meetings and having a calendar. Learning about how people got into this industry and got to London was also really interesting to me. I got to practice my Russian too, which was fun. Hearing so many languages spoken at once is really cool! I’ve learned a lot about work-life balance whilst being here, too. It’s been really eye-opening in general.
If you’d be interested in interning for Locaria and think you’d make a good fit, visit our vacancies page to see the roles we currently have on offer.