In one month’s time, the fourth edition of the Business School for Translators course (5 1/5 lessons on working as a freelance translator) will begin, with continuing support from eCPD Webinars. Recently, I’ve been spending quite a lot of time on improving the course and preparing for the September group. Analysing feedback, introducing new elements, re-connecting with the very first students: all that made me think about the whole journey once again. I feel that I need to share my perspective on the course, too, and it may be interesting for you to gain a bit of insight into how things happened. I don’t usually share too much about what happens in my mind, so this post is very personal!
Blogging about business
I started blogging in 2011, and some time in 2012 I decided to rename my blog to the Business School for Translators. In 2011 and 2012, I had plenty of business knowledge gained through a range of courses and practical experience, both in-house and as a freelancer. It occurred to me that I wanted to share my experience and knowledge. To tell you the truth, I was convinced that knowledge is one of these things that should be shared to make sure it works as well as it can. So you can imagine my head spinning with business concepts I wanted to write about and put out there. Thanks to your feedback, I know that my posts were (and hopefully still are!) useful.
At this stage, I learned that I loved sharing and seeing others benefitting from an idea they saw on my blog. Since then, I’ve been encouraging everybody to share their views in articles, videos or on blogs. If you know something useful, share it. Don’t think that you’re not experienced enough, or that there are so many others out there. Just share what you know for the benefit of everybody.
Before the first School
By the end of 2012, Lucy Brooks from eCPD Webinars wrote to me with this brilliant idea of turning the blog into an online course. The biggest challenge for me was to actually give the course its structure. I liked the idea of having separate lessons on five main topics I considered relevant, then I added homework and preparatory documents, turning the 5-hour format into a more engaging and comprehensive course (which supposedly takes between 3 and 5 hours each week if you include homework). But then I used one of the business strategies I teach at the course and looked at what I could be offering that other courses don’t. That’s how I added the one-to-one tutorial.
Then I had to write the course content, but this wasn’t too difficult, contrary to making sure I can cover everything in one hour. Somewhere in the beginning of January, I was ready for the first edition. Or, better said, the course was ready. I was still trying to figure out where to take all the energy needed to run a 5-week course from.
The first School
I’ll never forget the thrill I’ve experienced before the first lesson in the first School. It was even more exciting, because all 24 places were sold out. I asked students to send short stories about themselves, so I could get to know them in advance. It was very important for me to know the expectations and levels of experience of people I was going to talk to (public speaking rule no. 1). From the very first lesson I knew I loved it. After the third lesson, one of the students had the idea of creating a Facebook group for all students and we quickly started treating it like an integral part of the whole course.
The most important thing I learned at this stage? That the Business School for Translators works! I was receiving positive feedback from students, who were more and more successful in getting new clients and growing their businesses. Take a look at a case study with one of the first students:
The second School
The decision to run the course again didn’t require too much of deliberation. We’ve actually had a waiting list of students! What surprised me the most was the fun we had in our one-to-one tutorials. Talking to another translator or interpreter for one hour brings you so very close to this person, makes you a part of his or her professional life, leaves a permanent memory of a person somewhere else on earth.
It was a big lesson for me, as I always thought I was this shy introvert hiding behind her two screens, while all of a sudden I was laughing, joking and sharing ideas with colleagues I’ve never met before.
The third School
I’m a perfectionist, and I’m sure you know what I mean when I say it may cause problems at times. By the third edition of the School, I finally became confident that I was delivering 100% to my students. I’ve also had a chance to practise some of my emergency solutions with a patchy internet connection throughout the entire June.
At this stage, I learned that I’d never be bored with delivering the course. It became an essential position in my calendar. Two months of break before the September edition seemed never ending. I spent some time collecting feedback from the students and you can take a look at it here.
The fourth School
You can imagine that I couldn’t just go on holidays, so July and August have been full of work on the fourth edition of the School. I decided to invest in a better, more professional design of course materials, redesign the website, and add new business concepts to the content of the course. It’s probably not the safest thing to say, but I think about the course every day and jot ideas down on little pieces of paper. So many things to share in September!
Now that I have this very emotional confession behind me, I can go back to my more natural business-like way of writing and just invite you to enrol here. See you in a month’s time!