Mentoring for Translators and Interpreters
SURVEY RESULTS - Analysis of the answers
PART III: MENTEE
Past Experience (Mentee)
After having answered Question 30 positively, 134 participants were directed to this section. Only 125 answered the following section from Question 33 to Question 39.
Nearly half of the mentees (48%) who answered this question have been mentored in linguistic translation (60), followed by the second largest group of 38 respondents who received mentoring both in the linguistic and business domains. 10 participants (8%) dealt exclusively with business matters, followed by a smaller group of 9 participants who dealt with interpreting. There is no detailed information on the 8 mentees having been mentored in other subjects.
Question 34: Under which circumstances did you become a mentee?
The biggest group (34%) accepted the proposal of a close colleague helping them develop new skills (43), followed by 38 former mentees who did an internship during their translation/interpretation studies, and 35 (28%) who were coached by the trainer in the professional training program they followed. Significantly fewer participants (23 equalling 18%) approached a senior freelancer with the request to help them with their careers. At the bottom of the list, 15 respondents state that they found coaching programs on the Internet.
Question 35. How many times have you been a mentee?
An overwhelming majority of 68% (85) had been a mentee only once. A quarter of the respondents had been a mentee between 2 to 5 times. Only 9 respondents had been a mentee more than 5 times.
Question 36: Have you ever been supervised by several mentors at the same time?
51 respondents (41%) had never been supervised by more than one mentor at the same time, but state they could try that, followed by the second largest group of 32 respondents (26%) who do not think that it is a good idea. Over a fifth (28) had once been mentored by more than one person at the same time, whereas only 14 mentees state they have always been supervised by more than one mentor at the same time.
Question 37: What did you find useful as a mentee?
For a significant majority of 81% (101), improving their skills thanks to the mentor’s experiencehas been a useful aspect of their experience as a mentee. Significantly fewer respondents (62), still about 50%, found the possibility of creating opportunities for future partnerships quite useful, followed by 53 respondents (42%) who appreciate having been able to accelerate their careers. A still high number of respondents (44 equalling 35%) judged learning to work in teams, a useful aspect. 15 persons still had other reasons for finding this useful, but we do not have any details on those.
Question 38: What do you dislike in being a mentee?
Out of 125 respondents to this question, 46 (37%) fear the risk of being mentored by someone who does not have up-to-date skills and 36 the risk of being mentored by someone who does not share their professional outlook (29%). Fear of possible condescension by some mentors ranks third with 33 respondents equalling 26%. At the lower end of the list, only 18 respondents dislike the fact that those coaching moments are not paid, followed by the smallest group of14 participants who dislike the overload being a mentee generates.
This question offered the possibility to explain other reasons to dislike being a mentee. People having chosen this option (29) mentioned reasons like:
- Different opinions from different sources (1)
- Mentoring methods not adapted to the mentee’s habits (1)
- Being considered as future competitors (2)
- Getting highly specialised areas to translate (1)
- Too much focus on some aspects (rates, experience, volume) at the detriment of others (marketing) (1)
- Relationship issues between the mentee and the mentor (2)
- Different expectations from the mentee and the mentor (1)
- Boundaries of the mentor’s commitment loosely defined (1)
- Not real practice as the given translations were already completed (1)
- 16 persons used this field to emphasize the fact that they did not dislike anything
- 2 answers were irrelevant
The biggest subset (43 or 34%) to this question dedicated 1 hour per week to being a mentee, followed by the second largest subset of 33 respondents (27%) dedicating between 2-5 hours per week. Less than a fifth (23) dedicated more than 5 hours per week, closely followed by22 respondents who were “full-time-mentees”. Again in consistency with the low numbers of interpreters participating in this survey, only 4 respondents were mentored at a minimum of one interpreting assignment a month.