Being the first student of the Master of Arts in Portuguese Translation and Localization Management (MATLM) Program has been a challenge and a privilege since the first day.
A challenge not only because of the demanding curriculum and coursework that the program entails, but also due to the added pressure of laying the ground for the Portuguese-speaking MIIS community (I’m a perfectionist, so you can imagine what I mean by “pressure.”) And a privilege because Prof. Silva and I have taken on the task of pushing this program forward, but more than that, we’ve also become ambassadors, at sorts, of Brazil and the Brazilian culture at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS). Don’t get me wrong, the Portuguese language encompasses much more than the Brazilian variant, but considering that Prof. Silva and I are both Brazilian, it cannot be ignored that this is the part best represented.
When it came to making arrangements for my summer internship, I had no doubt that I wanted to get some hands on experience in Localization Project Management, but I also knew that I wanted this to happen in Brazil. In October 2012, I attended the ATA Conference (yes, I went as a first-year student and highly recommend it). Through a contact made with the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) there, I found Ccaps, one of the largest and most prestigious translation and localization companies in Brazil. Fabiano Cid and Cassius Figueiredo, the Managing Director and the Production Director respectively, offered me the opportunity of doing an internship at their company. During one of our first conversations, Fabiano said: “we don’t have a summer internship program organized as such, but we are willing to create one for you considering where you are coming from and your experience.” Here I was breaking ground once again!
Fabiano and I
July came around and I saw myself touching down in my hometown of Rio de Janeiro. Cassius had outdone himself in organizing an internship program that allowed me to go through the several areas of work with one-on-one time with professionals of all levels. The first week was dedicated to high-level strategic planning discussions with Fabiano himself, administrative and financial issues with Marcelo Malamace, the Financial and Administrative Director, as well as going over sales objectives and processes underway. I even got a chance to sit with one of the sales coordinators to do some cold calls! Sales is definitely not my thing, though…
The second week was dedicated to learning the details and mechanics of internationalization (i18n) and localization (l10n) and brushing up on important concepts in project management; all of this directly with Cassius. The following week, I had the opportunity to spend some time with the localization engineering team and get a feel for the different kinds of tasks they are given. It was then time to sit with the Vendor Management and QA team and understand their specific processes and the importance of being thorough in each step, which is so crucial to guarantee the high quality of work delivered to the client. The fourth and fifth weeks were spent side-by-side with the project managers, taking part in projects big and small, and understanding the various aspects of the work that is performed. They literally “kill a lion a day,” as we would say in Portuguese. Words cannot express my gratitude to the Ccaps team for giving me this opportunity and for the richness of the learning experience that was offered to me.
The Ccaps Team
This has also been a time of huge social and political importance in Brazil. As my plane landed, the largest social uprising in the last 20 years broke out and the population organized itself in protests, in a way that had never been seen. “O gigante acordou” [the giant has awoken] is the tagline used to describe what has been going on, and it is literally that! The general sense of revolt has been present for a while, but never before had people organized themselves in public protest in such a way and with such resonating impact both nationally and internationally. It’s still surprising to me and I am proud to see the population fighting for a fairer and more democratic country; one of which we can be proud. It was also the period during which the World Youth Day 2013 occurred and Rio de Janeiro received Pope Francis’s visit.
Last but not least, I spent some precious time with my family and friends, whom I deeply missed, revisited some of my favorite places in my hometown and refueled my “Brazilianity,” of which I am so proud. The summer couldn’t have been better and I feel totally ready to face my second year at MIIS, with all its challenges and privileges.
É isso aí, valeu gente!
Manuela Silveira is an MA candidate of the Portuguese Translation & Localization Management program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies expected to graduate in May 2014. Her previous experience includes companies such as Globo.com, Huge Inc. and Petrobras, where she held roles related to project and product management of digital media products.