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Tracey Arrowsmith, Interpreting (BSL/English)

As part of her Interpreting (BSL/English) course, Tracey took part in a work placement.  Here's what she thought about the experience:

"I attended the University of Wolverhampton to take a BA Hons in BSL/English Interpreting with a view of becoming a sign language interpreter.  During my third and final year I was fortunate enough to attend a work placement at a community based interpreting agency.

Throughout the ten week placement I was given the opportunity to observe a wide range of interpreting scenarios whilst shadowing experienced interpreters.  I was able to gain a vast amount of experience along with an insight into what my future career would entail. 

One of our assessments following the work placement was to produce a report which enabled me to constructively reflect on both the interpreters and my own skills and also to discuss why certain decisions were made throughout each assignment.  During the latter part of my placement I was allowed to interpret (whilst being supervised) after which I received feedback from my mentor, again demonstrating reflective practise.

Having spent ten weeks in the interpreting field I was spurred on with a new found motivation and the confirmation that it was indeed my aim to become an interpreter.  Now, having been an interpreter for two years, I appreciate how invaluable my work placement was and that the input throughout the degree has been paramount. 

Soon after graduating as a Trainee Interpreter I was offered a job as an in-house interpreter for a local community based interpreting agency. I was supported, encouraged and able to put theory into practice incorporating the many aspects taught on the degree.  In addition, the many role-plays that were conducted at University to prepare us for the world of work have proven beneficial.

I have since moved on from the Interpreting Agency and am now working in the Deaf Studies/Interpreting Department at the University as a part time Access-to-Work Interpreter.  During the days when I am not at the University I work as a Freelance Interpreter.

My aim is to become a Member of the Register of Sign Language Interpreters (MRSLI), as continual professional development is high on both mine and the university’s agenda.  I plan to enrol on a course to achieve this in the next academic year having gained two years experience. Without the support and encouragement received throughout my three years at University I may not have had the job satisfaction and fulfilment that I am now experiencing."