At VSI London, we receive many email enquiries about the work experience opportunities we have available. To assist those seeking to embark on their career with us, we have put together a guide on the schemes we offer and what interns can expect from their experience.
There are two types of internship schemes available at VSI:
The first is a Broadcast Work Placement, which is a 3-4 month work experience programme aimed at students, but it can also be beneficial to recent graduates. The intern will have the responsibility of assisting the Broadcast team by prepping files and performing running duties.
The second scheme is the Project Management Internship. This is a 12-month paid placement aimed at university graduates (ideally with a background in linguistics or audio-visual translation). The intern will be placed in VSI’s Voice Over, Broadcast and Corporate departments in order to obtain an all-encompassing view of the company and gain as much experience as possible.
While there is no guarantee of a permanent contract at the end of these placements, interns who have proven themselves will be first in line for any suitable roles that may become available. The internship may be cut short prematurely if a permanent role opens up.
To help prospective interns who are considering applying for either scheme, we have asked one current intern and three employees who began as interns, to share their journeys and top tips.
Where did you study and what subject did you gain your degree in?
Laura: I did a BA in Translation and English Studies in Lyon and then a Masters in Audio-visual Translation in London last year.
Maria: I did a BA in English Language and Literature at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and an MA in Translation at the University of Surrey.
Rosie: I did a BA in Languages, Translation and International Mediation at the Poitou-Charentes in Poitiers, France.
Jake: I studied Philosophy and Literature at East Anglia, in the fine city of Norwich.
What new skills did you develop from your internship?
Maria: Organisational and interpersonal skills from checking invoices, contacting suppliers, updating the database and interacting with other staff. I was trained in Swift and proofread files for the Broadcast and Subtitling departments.
Rosie: As an intern I was able to try my hand at lots of different tasks, and I learnt to subtitle with Swift. My main task was prepping subtitle files for a variety of different shows. I also got an idea of how the company worked and how the different departments work together.
Jake: I learned how to manage my emails and how to carefully check subtitle files.
Laura: I am currently carrying out my placement in the Subtitling department. My main tasks include creating quotes when requested and liaising with translators, suppliers and clients.
What was the highlight of your internship?
Laura: I get to work on many different styles of clips in many different languages, like Swahili, Hausa or Bahasa Indonesia. This includes film trailers, feature films, documentaries, adverts and even high-profile TV shows.
Maria: I noticed there was a missing subtitle in a Japanese clip, which ended up being amended before being delivered to the client.
Rosie: The highlight was working on shows, which I knew would be aired on TV.
From left – Laura, Rosie, Maria & Jake
How did VSI support you during your internship?
Laura: I am very happy with my team and my manager. My manager really listens to me and guides me when needed. As for VSI in general, everyone is very friendly.
Maria: I received great support and guidance from VSI. My placement was extended by two months (making it a five-month internship). I met some nice people and made friends. Those are some of the reasons why I decided to join VSI permanently eight months later.
Rosie: I worked closely with a few project managers who really showed me the ropes and taught me the ins and outs of their projects, as well as how to use the subtitling software and the company CRM. They were always available to explain things to me, and kept me in mind if anything unusual or interesting happened, so that I could see a wide range of situations during my internship. I felt like part of the team and was included in team meetings and outings, which really helped me settle in and feel at home.
Jake: VSI has a family atmosphere and the mentoring I received when I arrived was great. It was fantastic that I could go on to develop skills gained from multiple departments, and the support to find my place in the business gave me a great start.
What is the most valuable learning experience you gained from your internship?
Maria: Multitasking – I would often have various urgent tasks assigned to me by different departments, and I had to prioritise them in order to carry them out successfully.
Rosie: I learnt how much work is involved in the job, apart from the actual translation and subtitling. This was also the first time that I’d seen the administrative and financial side of things, which I’d never experienced in a professional setting before.
Jake: I learned how important communication is within a team. There was a lot going on, with a few different teams outside of VSI, and keeping everything clear to everyone is always a skill to be admired, as it keeps everyone moving in the same direction.
How did you find yourself in the role you are in now?
Maria: After my internship, I worked for eight months as Vendor Manager for the VO department. For the past year, I have been working as the Vendor Manager for translation and subtitling suppliers. I greatly enjoy my role, as it is broad, challenging, and satisfying when I succeed in sourcing a supplier for an obscure language or agree on competitive rates with suppliers.
Rosie: After my internship, I worked with VSI as a freelancer for a month before being offered a job as a Project Coordinator and working on a couple of big projects alongside my colleagues. Six months later, I became a Project Manager for these same projects. I’ve been in this position for four months now and I really enjoy it.
Jake: I expressed an interest in being more involved with the Creative team and was asked to put together a demo trailer as evidence of my abilities. I was scribbling notes of what I wanted, timecodes of the shots and my outlines and ideas while still working in the Broadcast department, and it all came together in the end. I have learned a lot since then, and with the variety of jobs I’ve completed, I have continued to learn.
What is the number one tip you would offer a prospective intern?
Laura: Do not hesitate to ask questions!
Maria: Be proactive, enthusiastic and curious. Learn as much as you can, express your interest in the role and industry, and always offer to help (not only when asked).
Rosie: Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! If you’re having a quiet spell, ask around to see if anyone needs a hand – there’s always someone that’s really busy and will be glad of some help, and it will really broaden your experience within the company. Make the most of your time as an intern to learn, and try, all you can!
Jake: Have a direction, as it is far better to make progress than stand still. Even if you're not sure, just try it!
And we have one final tip from VSI Project Manager Ellen De Venter, who is in charge of coordinating the internship schemes in London:
Do your research. The applicants that stand out to me are those who demonstrate they are passionate about working at VSI.
To learn more about the VSI internship scheme and view current vacancies at our London facility, please visit: http://www.vsi-london.tv/jobs , to view current vacancies at our Berlin facility please visit http://www.vsi-berlin.tv/jobs-0
To apply for the opportunity to be placed on a VSI internship, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org