Get the Support You Need

ATA’s Mentoring Program offers matching services to members at different stages in their career. Mentees and mentors benefit from this mutually rewarding program.

Applications are accepted from January 1 through March 31. The program runs from May 1 through October 31 each year. Mentees will be selected through a competitive application process.

Application deadline has passed.

The deadline to submit an application was March 31, 2023. Plan to submit next year when application submissions open in January 2024.

Mentoring Program FAQ

Who may apply for the program?

  • While any ATA member may apply, members with a few years of experience looking to improve some area of their business practice will gain the most benefit.

What kind of time commitment is involved? 

  • Mentorships last for six months, with the option of extending to one year.
  • One to two hours per month or more may be required.

What do I need to know?

  • The mentee sets the goals and pace.
  • Most mentorships are long-distance.
  • Improving translation/interpreting skills is not in the scope of this program.

What do mentors need to know?

  • ATA certification is not required to be a mentor.
  • A certificate of completion and CE credits will be issued at the end of the program if both mid-term and final evaluations is completed.

Mentors volunteer to help mentees but, in return, they gain new perspectives and appreciation for their translation and interpreting careers.

Mentoring is easy ... except when it's not! Find out how the ATA Mentoring Program smoothes the way for mentors and mentees to build successful relationships.

What our members say about ATA mentoring

The biggest impact on my professional development was the sense of empowerment, confidence building, and progress achieved.
- Katherine J.

I learned to sign up for webinars of interest, negotiate with clients, and establish myself as a
businessperson—something I never saw myself doing!
- Teodosia R.

When I made the switch to working for myself, I felt a bit like a fish out of water. There was so much to learn—how to attract direct clients, get my foot in the door at agencies, juggle a large number of jobs with different expectations. I wanted advice from someone who had been in my shoes. My ATA mentor turned out to be just what I was looking for.
- Jessica H.

My mentor was very generous with his knowledge and experience. I always left our sessions with a sense of purpose and concrete strategies to reach my professional goals.

- Karla S.

My mentor encouraged me to trust my instincts when it came to marketing and networking, regardless of what the “how-to” articles say. And she reminded me to be patient with my business. There is no short-cut to getting clients. Really, she helped me in so many ways. It’s hard to sum it all up!

- Molly Y.

My mentor showed me what he did to succeed in a competitive, but high value, segment of the market. Even though I had been running my own successful translation business for nearly four years, there was a lot to learn from how someone else handled the challenge of finding new clients.

- Ben K.

Becoming a Mentor: Giving Back and Leveling Up

By The ATA Chronicle | March 22, 2022

Mentoring someone isn’t just about sharing wisdom, passing along expertise, or supporting the development of (future) colleagues. Mentoring is also expected to benefit the mentor. Whether you’re working with a student, a new professional, or a colleague, the interactions you have as a mentor will lead you to reflect more critically and deeply on your professional practice.

Read More

Starting Out in Translation? Find a Mentor!

By The Savvy Newcomer | October 13, 2020

This post originally appeared on sciword and it is republished with permission. I was reading one of Kevin Lossner’s blog posts from 2010, titled “No Monkeys!”. He gives 12 pieces of advice—a twelve-step program, as he calls it—for those getting started in the translation business. All of it is great advice and I think everyone…

Read More

Mentoring and Beyond: Business support by and for peers within ATA

By The Savvy Newcomer | February 25, 2020

The American Translators Association (ATA) set up its current mentoring program in 2011, and since then an estimated 240 mentor/mentee pairs have worked together to jointly explore the business side of translation and interpreting. The program has been a big success, so much so that the Mentoring Committee, which is part of ATA’s Business Practices…

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