Another LINCS graduate joins the European Institutions

LINCS is delighted to celebrate the success of former student Erika Kadlçikova, who recently joined the Council of European Union as a full-time Czech translator.  

Erika joined the Languages and Intercultural Studies department in 2015. A native-speaker of Czech, she was keen to consolidate her already excellent English and was able to make the most of the freedom of movement still available at the time to all EU citizens to come and do the MA in Applied Languages with French and Spanish. She picked up Spanish from scratch, making the most of the Intensive Beginners pathway available to all students who arrive with only one of the core EU languages offered on LINCS programmes. Erika already dreamt of an EU career and was aware that English and two of the core EU languages would stand her in good stead to achieve her goal. Thanks to her hard work and to the support of the Spanish section, she was able to quickly bring her Spanish skills up to speed, and she graduated from the MA with a first-class Honours degree in 2019.  

On the back of her MA, Erika was able to build up a portfolio of valuable experiences, first teaching English in Spain, then branching into English content creation for websites, while developing her translation and proof-reading freelance business.  

To further her chances to achieve her dream of working for the European Institutions and to add to her skills-set as an expert linguist, Erika then decided to move back to Scotland and do the LINCS MSc in Translation. The MSc enabled her to hone her existing translation and interpreting skills, and to add translation-related additional skills, such as subtitling. She subsequently secured work as a subtitler, and was involved in a number of projects like sitcoms, series and films for Netflix and Disney.

Throughout her training, Erika also had access to information about EU careers and opportunities which helped her plan her next move. She successfully applied for a number of prestigious and very selective traineeships with European Institutions following her second study spell at Heriot-Watt: she became a trainee with the Secretariat General of the Council of the EU, then with the Renew Europe Czech Delegation, before being selected for a traineeship at Euractiv, with a focus on French translation. 

This wide range of experiences, accumulated over a period of only a few years, despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, led to Erika securing a full-time post as translator in the Czech unit with the Council of the European Union in February 2023.  

Even though Czech is not one of the languages offered on LINCS programmes, the training is very focused on skills and techniques. Erika was able to apply these transferable skills, developed throughout her MA and MSc, to other language combinations with her native language. She valued the multilingual community she found on our campus, as it enabled to her to further consolidate her English and reach a very high level of proficiency in French and Spanish. In her own words, “the translation and interpreting courses at HWU are mostly practice-oriented, which makes them stand out amongst competitors and also makes you, the future graduate, more confident and employable”.