ANNIKA SCHMITZ

Outside The Box

The increasingly hectic pace of the translation industry forces many translators into a box where they are blinkered by wordcounts and lose sight of how they want to work and what they want to achieve. “Outside The Box” wants to encourage the audience to take a more holistic approach to their career and their professional development. The speaker draws on her own experience of over 20 years in the translation industry, her experience as a tutor on the ITI SUFT course, and the insights gained through her new hobby of motorcycle photography and journalism.

The talk will centre on the 3 ages of translators’ careers: Getting started (in this section Matthew Walker will share his experiences of setting up as freelance translator and juggling childcare and work), the “middle age” where Annika Schmitz will recount why she chose to embark on her recent studies for a further degree and how this has enriched her life, and in the “3rd age of a translator”, main speaker Heidi Kerschl will share how she hopes that branching out into travel journalism will complement and “lift her game” in this advanced phase of her career. The audience will be encouraged to share their own experiences to demonstrate how activities seemingly unrelated to translation and interpreting may not only improve work-life balance but can also directly enhance translation, interpreting and business skills. This will lead to a look at premium areas where translators and interpreters can leverage their “extracurricular” skills to break free from the wordcount-based box and transition to more fulfilling hourly and assignment-based charging structures. The aim is to give the audience a chance to participate and encourage them towards a more rewarding long career in the language industry.

The speaker will unashamedly promote networking, ITI CPD courses and workshops, and is particularly pleased to be joined in this panel by 2 graduates of the ITI SUFT course who have not presented at an ITI Conference before. This session will be lively, informative and entertaining, and strongly encourage audience participation. Expect to see many photos and visual content, animated discussion, inspiring ideas and of course the destruction of the ubiquitous box.

Annika holds a degree in translation from the renowned Faculty of Applied Linguistics in Germersheim, Germany. After two years as a translator and project manager at the German IBM Translation Services Centre, she moved to London to work for a small translation bureau specialising in IT marketing. Her role included project management, quality assurance and translation. Out of sheer boredom, Annika started studying natural sciences (a mix of geology, chemistry and astronomy) with the Open University in 2010, from which she obtained the Certificate in Astronomy and Planetary Science in 2014 and the BSc. in Natural Sciences in 2018 (TBC – result still pending at the time of writing).

In summer 2015, Annika set out as a freelance translator, now focussing on her favourite subjects – chemistry and environmental technology. She’s been a member of BDÜ since 2006 and of ITI since 2009; in January 2015 she became an MITI. In her spare time, Annika enjoys the variety of London and practices Tai Chi. Her holidays are dominated by activities in the geological domain.

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