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Mathieu Isidro

Communication and marketing
School year ISIT 2011
Country United Kingdom

I always wanted to travel and use multiple languages at my future workplace. After three years of studying English at university, I spent a year studying at the University of Salamanca in Spain to perfect my Spanish. There, I learned that ISIT is one of the best translation schools in the world. While at ISIT, I drew on my passion for astronomy and did my translation thesis on a NASA report. I did my final-year internship at the Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES) in Paris as a Scientific Communications Officer.

After graduation, I did a six-month internship at INTERPOL in Lyon as a communications officer and English proofreader, then I helped organize an international summit held at the United Nations in Vienna, in partnership with the World Bank. After that, I managed to get another six-month internship in scientific communications at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Munich. I learned to decipher scientific publications and write scientific and corporate press releases in English. I also helped develop a series of video podcasts, which included script writing, recording, transcription, time-coding and French subtitling, followed by translation into other languages. At the end of my internship, thanks to my mastery of Spanish, I was able to work for ESO in Santiago, Chile. Since then, I’ve become Assistant Director of Communications and Popularization for the Square Kilometer Array Organisation (SKA), in Manchester, England.

The best things about my ISIT education? Languages are a work tool. Every day, I have to be perfect in English and Spanish, both spoken and written. ISIT taught me to value precision and finding the right wording, something my employer appreciates. I also learned to work quickly and to switch from one language to another effortlessly, and how to find the right word from a trusted source. At ISIT, we are taught cultural sensitivity, without which we couldn’t translate effectively. This sensitivity serves me daily in my interactions with an international team. It also helped me to adapt quickly to daily life in a new location.

I would recommend that future students try to find a guiding theme for their internships, trips abroad, thesis, etc., in order to follow a logical career path. Think about what you like, what you’re good at and try to get better at every opportunity. To give yourself the best chance at success, you must try to spend as much time abroad as possible, completing internships, going on ERASMUS exchanges, or even on a sabbatical year, if you are really serious. Feel free to volunteer and offer your expertise for free to establish your reputation and gain experience. However, an international career is not for everyone. There are family and personal sacrifices that can be difficult to make and you have to consider this from the outset. You have to be a go-getter! Get out there, explore every opportunity, travel, meet new people, and practice your languages to become more open-minded and be more confident about yourself, while you build up a network. And aim high!