MITI Upgrade Grant – recipient Hayley Carter-Smith

In 2020, the French Network was delighted to launch our MITI upgrade grant. Recipients receive funds to help cover the cost of upgrading to Qualified ITI Member status.  Hayley translates from French and Spanish into English, and specialises in International Development and charity communications; she shares what receiving the grant and upgrading has meant to her.

I was pleased earlier this year to have been reminded by the ITI that, having signed up as a student member in October 2018, I was now eligible to apply to undertake the MITI assessment. Those three years had absolutely flown by – I can’t be the only one for whom two years plus of a global pandemic has ruined all concept of time!

However, for a couple months, I dithered over whether I should do it. The assessment fee was on my mind, plus I have been thinking about applying to start a PhD next year. Was it something I really needed to do? But then, I realised there was something else behind it… in short, I was scared I wouldn’t pass. With my rational-thinking brain engaged, I knew that appearing in the directory could help me find new clients, and remembered that, as long as I maintained my ITI membership, I could be an MITI forever. So, after a considerable amount of naval gazing, I decided to go for it – as soon as I could afford it…

And then, as if by magic, the latest issue of Au Courant pinged into my inbox. Inside, there was a reminder that MITI upgrade grants were available, and that two remained to be used before the end of the membership year. This had to be a sign! So I got in touch with Emmanuelle, and was delighted to find out a little while later that my grant had been approved.

From there, I next had to complete an application form and ask for two professional references. I felt quite nervous to do this at first, but I needn’t have worried – the clients I asked were both very happy to see this progression in my professional development. When all that had been received and approved by the ITI office, I needed to choose a first and second choice subject matter for the translation assessment from a list provided by the ITI. I chose ‘International Affairs, NGOs, Politics and Society’ as my first choice, as these broadly reflect my specialisms, but there are several others available, including ‘Business and Finance’, ‘Law’, and ‘The Arts’, among others.

I recently wrote a short blog post for the ITI’s CPD update focusing more on the assessment process, but, here’s a spoiler – around two weeks after submitting my assessment, I was relieved and elated to find out I had passed! Like many colleagues I know who have taken the assessment, I barely told anyone until I received my result. I’m so grateful to everyone in the French Network for helping make this possible – I truly don’t believe I would have been in a position to take this next step in my career if it weren’t for the grant. Thank you so much!

Hayley translates from French and Spanish into English, and specialises in International Development and charity communications.