For this #LoveWattYouDo profile, we met a fantastic alumnus of the MSc in Interpreting and Translating Chinese to English – Fan Mo. She is a great example of determination delivering success. Currently working as an Estate Agent or ‘Realtor’ for a Chinese company across their international territories. Here she outlines why her degree with Heriot-Watt School of Social Sciences was the perfect stepping-stone to set her on the path to a multilingual career, and its lovely to see that she had such a great relationship with the academics that helped her along the way.
Question 1: What drove your decision to study a Masters degree in your subject? Did you have a specific end goal in mind?
I studied a masters in Chinese-English Interpreting and Translation. When I was at school, being fluent in English not only gave me an edge in my studies, but it also opened up window to explore the wider world. It was fantastic to get to know people from different countries and to understand what’s happening in this world without struggling to find a translation. I loved the experience and I wanted to make it part of my future career. My bachelor’s degree was in Chinese but my goal was to get involved in international organisations and I believed that my postgraduate degree would be the thing to help me achieve this goal.
Question 2. What was it about Heriot-Watt and your programme that made you want to study here?
I made quite a lot of comparisons before applying for this programme. Since I was mostly interested in interpreting, I was very attracted by the flexibility of the course. It allows you to make your own study plan by selecting what suits you best from a list of elective courses. Having experienced teachers who are also native speakers of the languages is a crucial element. State of the art interpreting labs also give students hands-on experience and prepares them for their future work. Last but not the least, not to mention a scholarship I gained from the Scottish government.
“Who doesn’t want to come to one of the most beautiful cities in the world!” Fan Mo
Question 3. Can you tell us about an element of the Programme that you’ve particularly enjoyed?
It has to be the mini-conference. It was quite challenging, to be honest, and most of us felt “lost in translation” in the beginning. In these sessions, we created a real working environment so that we know what we are going to face as a professional interpreter. By bringing students from different language combinations together, we can listen to each other’s interpreting and give advice. At the same time, it’s not just about practising the skills, we can also discuss topics that we are interested in and exchange our thoughts.
Question 4. Can you tell us about a lecturer or tutor that has made a positive impact on your studies? How have you found the personal tutor system at HWU?
Mr. Kester Newill gave me tremendous support during my studies at HWU and I was very grateful. He remembered our names from the very first day. His class was very well structured and he would go through each submission meticulously. I found his comments very helpful and he would provide opportunities to students to further develop their skills.
I had a few informal meetings with my tutor, Dr. Pablo la Porte. He shared with us his thoughts about coming to a foreign country to study and how to prepare ourselves for our future career. I was very fortunate to receive this advice. It was great to have a personal tutor throughout the programme through these casual meetings.
Question 5. Beyond your studies, how would you describe your experience of being a Masters student in Edinburgh and at Heriot-Watt? What kind of things have you been able to get involved with; both at the Uni and in the city?
Edinburgh is a diverse city with rich history and modern vitality. We went to music shows, the public houses (pubs), almost all the tourist attractions, and of course the International Festival Fringe. I was proud to say to my friends that I had been to the places when we were watching Trainspotting II. My year at HWU was full of fun, I was in the 2016 Telethon team, interpreting volunteer for Bethany Christian Trust, interpreter for Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Williams at the Chinese New Year concert, regular goer to International meal at the chaplaincy, and I attended the Welcoming event held by the Scottish Government at Edinburgh Castle! . These are just some of my very best experiences.
“I absolutely loved the time I spent in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland” Fan Mo
Question 6. What is your ambition for after you graduate? Do you think your MSc degree will help you achieve it?
I joined a Chinese Real Estate company in our overseas regions after graduation last year. My ambition is to understand the business and acquire as much hands-on experience as I can, to develop an international mindset and to live full and healthy. My master’s degree helps me better adjust to working abroad and what I learnt at school proves to be exactly what I need at work and makes me more irreplaceable at my position.
If you have been inspired to take up interpreting like Fan; Our Interpreting and Translating MSc programme is a uniquely twin-focus degree which will prepare you for an exciting, international career as a professional translator and interpreter in the following languages combined with English: Chinese, French, German, Spanish
Find out more here – Msc Interpreting and Translating