MITI upgrade grant – recipient Hayley Wood

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. French to English translator Hayley Wood was the first ever recipient and she shares what it’s meant to her.

I have been an associate/affiliate ITI member for several years but was keen to upgrade my membership to MITI level as soon as I had enough years under my belt. This was partly because I felt it might help clients find me through the directory (especially the MedNet directory, as I specialise in medical and pharmaceutical translation), but also if I’m honest because I suffer from the classic working-from-home imposter syndrome and had something to prove to myself.

I had my first baby, June, this summer, and thought that maternity leave might be a good time to take the MITI assessment. When I selected the dates of the exam, little did I know that her sleeping through the night, which I had started to take for granted, would regress into waking up every 2-3 hours… Sleep deprivation made the task somewhat more difficult but did mean I went through my submission with an even finer tooth comb than usual; when I finally sent it through to ITI on the Monday morning, trying to balance my scanner on one side and a screaming baby on the other, I was very much in a mindset of ‘oh well this will be a good learning experience for next time’. So I was absolutely delighted to find out I had passed! I attended my first ITI conference in Sheffield last year and was struck by the sense of community I felt from being with so many other language professionals in one place; being a qualified Member I now feel a full part of that community and am looking forward to contributing as much as I can over the coming years.

I was fortunate to catch an email at just the right time from Emmanuelle in which she referred to the MITI upgrade grant scheme, as I hadn’t realised this was now offered by the network. The grant is hugely appreciated: at a time of uncertainty for us all, and particularly when I am transitioning back from maternity leave and finances are tighter than usual, it has really made the assessment more affordable. It is very easy to apply for – you just need proof from ITI that you have paid the fee – and I would encourage anyone eligible to do so.