June 2018
Text by Silvia Doehnert

Image: Romolo Tavani/123rf.com

Back to Uni with TCLoc - an insider report

After working in translation and localization for many years, Silvia Doehnert decided to hit the school bench once again. She completed the TCLoc Master's Program at the University of Strasbourg as well as the tekom certificate. Here is her report.

A little over a year ago, I took the brave and bold decision to go back to university. After seven years in my position as an in-house translator and localization coordinator for Esker, a French cloud-based software company, I felt the need to take a step back. I truly enjoy the challenges the tech world brings to us linguists every day. However, forever immersed in our internal formats and processes, I was keen to broaden my horizon, to update and expand my skills, and to learn about new benchmarks in this fast-moving industry. Since I was working in an agile environment, I was particularly curious to explore new tools and practices that would help me to better integrate the technical translation process into our product development cycle.

That being said, returning to school ten years after graduation, with two kids and an almost full-time job was also a scary perspective. I had to find a study arrangement that would allow me to stay on top of everything.

By a lucky set of circumstances, I came across the TCLoc program, a new virtual learning Masters course run by the University of Strasbourg. I liked the idea of participating in an academic program that had a highly operational angle. From the basics of coding, advanced localization, visual communication to project management, the program helped me to acquire valuable knowledge that today empowers me in my daily work. It gave me the opportunity to extend my network with other stakeholders of my branch and to gain more awareness of the current challenges of my profession.

The tekom certification came as an ideal complement to the Masters course as I occasionally also write technical content for the documentation department I work for. This gave me the chance to study in depth all aspects of technical content creation. The course schedule is pretty demanding, but the road map and the teamwork on the TCTrainNet platform successfully guided me through the learning process.

All in all, it has been a very special and rewarding year. It required a lot of self-discipline to work in the evenings and on weekends. But meeting other people with similar interests, the common online classes, the on-campus meetings and collaborative work helped a lot stay connected with the program. Also, my company sponsored my project and let me organize my training time freely, which put me in a very comfortable position. The academic team is extremely supportive and did everything possible to facilitate my work. The fresh impetus the training gave me in terms of professional and personal growth was definitely worth the effort and I encourage anyone up for an intellectual challenge to try the experience.