Center of Conference Interpreting (floor 3)
Phone: 8 (8512) 24-66-80 Add.330

Maria Avdaseva

2019-08-28 | 

: Alumni

Maria AvdasevaFor the Caspian Higher School of Interpreting and Translation, summer is the best time for the most interesting and exciting internships abroad. Meanwhile some of our students had their internship in Brussels, Maria Avdaseva, one of the MA graduates, got a unique opportunity to do her internship at the UN headquarters in Geneva where she spent two months enhancing her simultaneous interpretation skills.  “People say that you forget the moments of happiness very quickly. But you have to remember these moments because they take special place in your heart and your soul. Especially, when you are overwhelmed with happiness.” – says Maris. “ July and August were a very happy time for me with lots of new smiles and Sun…and simultaneous interpretation. I got a chance to do my two-month internship at the UN Office at Geneva, Russian Interpretation Service. Internship for only 7 interpreters from all over Russia! I was overwhelmed with pride because I represented Caspian Higher School of Interpreting and Translation, as well as my hometown, and the rest were from Moscow State University, Moscow State Institute of International Relations and the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia. The weeks I spent there were very intense. Usually, from 10am till 6pm we interpreted during the sessions on different topics. They all were completely different but absolutely fascinating. In the beginning, you don’t really understand what’s going on and it’s hard to dive in. However, other interpreters, who were our trainers during the internship, helped us do it. Maria AvdasevaThere were three sessions that stuck in my memory: one was about Biological Weapon Convention and Ebola – things that you read about in the news; another one was dedicated to the Palestine-Israel conflict – we were in the booths and we witnessed the voting process and watched countries giving their votes for and against the Resolution and later on I read about it in the news and it was very strange to realise that I was there and saw it all with my own eyes; and the third one was dedicated to the International Law where we had a chance to see our Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon and our former Ambassador in the Netherlands Kirill Gevorgyan. Moreover, we had classes with the Russian booth interpreters several times a week. 8 hours of simultaneous interpretation a day! We interpreted 10-30-minute speeches on various topics – from the General Assembly to the Security Council. The trainers listened to our interpretation very carefully and afterwards we looked through the texts again and received feedback from the trainers. We also worked on using basic set expressions, correct choice of words in Russian and presentation. They also put stress on the importance of feeling psychologically comfortable in the booth, while you are left alone with the speakers saying whatever they want and how they want, speaking at any speed, while you are alone in the booth. Your colleague might go out for a coffee during the break but you are in the booth, left alone with the microphone and a speaker and you don’t even know which delegate will be the next one. You cannot predict who can ask the permission to take the floor. Now it’s Denmark, 5 minutes later it’s Qatar. Maria AvdasevaDuring the internship, we also met our colleagues from the Russian booth who shared some valuable pieces of advice with us and told us various stories about their work in different UN offices. Things they told us were really interesting, especially, about the Security Council. Two months passed very quickly. But thanks to those happy days I gained an amazing experience and learned things I wouldn’t learn anywhere else. You feel that you get stronger, more confident and self-assured. Our interpreters tried to do their best and share the most useful and precious treasures that they had been collecting for many years. That is why I would like to express my gratitude to them. The gratitude I cannot put into words. And I would also like to thank the guys who spent these two months with me and supported me. We’ve become a real family. As our couch Dmitry Toporkov, a simultaneous interpreter of the UN in Geneva, said, it can’t get any better! The people are unique, the knowledge is unique. And the place is unique as well. As George Byron said that Switzerland is as wonderful as a dream. Luckily for us, it was a day-dream as well as all the wonderful things that happened to me this summer.”