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Sandeep Menon Nandakumar, a 26 year old student from Kerala, India, studying his third postgraduate degree in International Human Rights Law at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom has been awarded the Student Employee of the Year – International Student Award by the National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES).
Multilingua, a translation company based in Exeter, nominated him for the student employee Award. Sandeep used to carry out assignments with local government, health and social services clients; offering not only translation services into Malayalam but also invaluable cultural insight, as has been reported at the official website of the University of Exeter.
Explaining about his work Sandeep said, “When undertaking translating work I started to realise that my knowledge of cultural practice would also be relevant. For example, I briefed social workers about normal family practice among Indian communities when a baby is born. I am so pleased to get this award and it will be a great record of the work I have done here.”
The official website of the University of Exeter has proudly showcased the reactions of some of the prominent mentors of Sandeep. Excerpts from the website:
Leanne Fennell, University of Exeter Career Zone manager said: “We are so proud of Sandeep for beating 440 other students to win this award. He received exceptional feedback from companies hiring his services and also made a real difference to individual lives. He went above and beyond and is a great example of the success of employing international students in the local community.”
Anil Lee, Project Manager, Multilingua, said: “Interpreting is not just about speaking another language, which seems to be the general misunderstanding. It involves skills like accuracy, impartiality and confidentiality, cultural expertise, and extensive general knowledge. It is a profession that requires updating one’s skills all the time. A service provider understands the difference when they use a true professional like Sandeep.”
The International Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) is a National Competition conducted in the United Kingdom to identify the International Student Employee of the Year with local and regional winners identified and the overall national winner announced at an Awards Ceremony at the annual NASES conference in July. It was successfully launched in 2002 and is marking its tenth anniversary in 2012.
The objectives of the project are to:
1.Encourage international students to aspire to winning the award;
2. Promote and enhance international students’ reputation as good employees;
3.Promote and enhance the reputation of employers of international students as good employers;
4.Improve employer awareness of international students’ capabilities in the part-time job sector and beyond.
The award aims to recognise and promote the contributions and achievements of international students who combine part-time work with their study commitments.