It was May of 2011, possibly the sunniest day of the year in year-round cold Monterey, California. Hundreds of soon-to-be graduates marched single file towards the garden where the ceremony would take place. After about over an hour of protocol and speeches sitting under the unusually harsh sun, we received our diplomas, certifying we were now masters of the arts of translation and interpretation.
But what would the future year hold for us? Graduation signified the culmination of two years of struggle, suffering, successes and failures, the end of an aspiration and the beginning of something new. We were definitely not the same people this side of the program: the professional and academic struggles had changed us personally. The dreams we may have had going in might have changed, what we thought we knew about ourselves was many times revisited.
The Master’s degree program in translation and interpretation and MIIS was nowhere near perfect. There were many things that needed and still need to be looked into. But it definitely allowed us to test our mettle as future translators and interpreters. We might not all end up at the UN or interpreting for the president. Some were not allowed to continue and finish the course. Yet we’re all out there, creating something for ourselves out of whatever we were given, which is what matters in the long run.
To commemorate the graduation anniversary of the Class of 2011 of the Monterey Institute of International Studies I have interviewed several of my classmates in the program to ask them what they are doing now. Looking at the general landscape, it is definitely encouraging to see the variety and uniqueness of each person’s path, how they have grown personally and in the profession, what opportunities and experiences they’ve already been privy to. Tune in every week for a new interview with one of my fellow classmates to see what some of them are up to and what they have learned about their chosen fields.
Happy Anniversary to my cograduates!