Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Members' Day – a personal view, by Karine Chevalier-Watts MCIL

It was with great anticipation that I came to attend CIOL's AGM and Members’ Day at the QEII Centre in London. This was the second time I had attended this event as I only joined CIOL as a Member in June 2015. As a French native and qualified linguist, I have been running my own language agency from Wiltshire for the past six years offering translations, interpreting and private tuition in multi-languages to individuals, businesses and governmental organisations. Joining CIOL has proved to be a major landmark in my career. For a start, it has given my existing clients extra reassurance that they are dealing with a professional and reputable business person; it has attracted new clients and I am also now confident carrying out legal certified translations.

As an agent, I am also often asked by clients to provide them with specialised translations in different fields of the industry in various languages and I have found the CIOL directory an invaluable tool to secure just the right people to provide an enhanced service by meeting my clients’ specific needs. I have been working with several other CIOL members regularly over the past couple of years and it’s always great to meet up on Members’ Day, catching up personally and professionally face to face rather than by email. It also offers me an amazing opportunity to meet new linguists who could bring their talents to the agency. We exchange opinions, share information and advice in a nice, relaxed setting. It’s a fantastic opportunity to network and do business in a laid-back and friendly atmosphere. The organisers and speakers are always approachable, dedicated, knowledgeable and helpful and it is very comforting to feel so valued, encouraged and supported.

We are also very spoilt for choice for interesting seminars to attend. This time, I opted for “Breathing techniques for interpreters and other linguists” in the morning and for “The importance of Chartership” in the afternoon. I found both very informative and useful. Running a busy language agency is exciting as I deal with lots of different, talented people from varied backgrounds and the assignments are all challenging and rewarding but the working hours are long and the challenge of managing several projects at the same time, co-ordinating and overseeing the work of other people and ensuring tight deadlines are met can be very stressful and exhausting. I found Gabriela Bocanete’s seminar helpful as it taught me about breathing techniques to control stress levels along with some physical exercises to correct posture and avoid slumping at a desk along with some good lifestyle tips.

I was also extremely interested by the seminar delivered by Jane Galbraith (CIOL Head of Membership) about the importance of being chartered and the value of CPD. I found the video testimonials of the various Chartered Linguists very interesting and inspiring. It has prompted me to find out more about becoming a Chartered Linguist, feeling it would be the natural progression of my career and a tremendous asset for my business. I also teach young students preparing for their French GCSE and A Levels, some of them planning to go to University next year to continue their studies in modern languages and become translators and interpreters. I tell them about the CIOL benefits so that they can join early as Student Affiliates as it will undoubtedly boost their career prospects.

Earlier this year, I had the honour of being registered as an accredited French / English translator and interpreter for the French Consulate in London and the rest of the UK and I am quite sure that being a CIOL member was crucial in my appointment. I am very proud of being part of such a wonderful organisation and am looking forward to many more years of successful co-operation with it and its valued members.

Karine Chevalier-Watts MCIL

Karine’s Languages & Administrative Services