MIT Sloan School of Management – Global Executive Academy Case Study
The sharing of knowledge between business leaders throughout the United States and around the world is imperative for innovation. Many top universities have developed executive education programs that bring these individuals together to discuss new ideas and business strategies that they can apply to their personal work. As many of these programs have a global reach, language services are often needed to ensure students can actively participate. Language Connections has provided multifaceted linguistic assistance in this manner to MIT’s Global Executive Academy since 2013.
Q: How Do You Ensure Executives Speaking 5 Languages Can Learn And Discuss Business Strategy?
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, located in Cambridge MA, is one of the top business schools in the world. For global business leaders looking to expand their knowledge of business strategies and techniques, they offer the Global Executive Academy (GEA).
This innovative program is designed for executives and senior managers who want to enhance their general management skills. It is unique in that it’s offered simultaneously in multiple languages to participants from Asia, Europe, Russia and the Middle East.
For one of their earlier programs, MIT reached out to Language Connections requesting interpretation and translation services for students speaking five different languages.
MIT requested language support for Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. The set of text and multimedia materials used throughout the program included:
- Program marketing brochures
- Website pages (including important information regarding program details, admission requirements, costs, immigration and visa-related details, a program calendar, course details, and testimonials from previous participants)
- Ads for online marketing campaigns
- Presentations and slide shows (that would be displayed simultaneously on five monitors in the respective languages)
Simultaneous interpreting services in all five languages was also required during classroom lectures, presentations, and discussions.
Language support for large, multilingual programs like this involve many moving parts that need precise coordination to ensure no mistakes are made.
As such, our team was faced with a few challenges:
- Most materials used throughout the course require short turnaround times for their translations.
- All educational materials needed to be consistent across the five languages, as students would rely on them to have constructive discussions during the course.
- Website pages, marketing materials, videos, and presentations needed to be translated, dubbed, and formatted so visual and audio information was received clearly.
- High-level, conference interpreters were required and needed to be coordinated simultaneously by our project managers.
Challenge 1: Meeting Tight Deadlines
For global executive education programs, large volumes of materials including pre-reads, lesson plans and in class worksheets need to be prepared beforehand. Due to the scope of this work, this means that at times finalized English materials are coming in for translation with very short deadlines.
As such, precise coordination is required to ensure that there are linguists able to start translating materials as soon as they arrive to our project managers. It is essential that all the materials are completed before the start of the course, and that costs remain within the agreed upon budget.
Challenge 2: Ensuring Consistency Across 5 Different Languages
The most important thing for students to take away from the GEA course is a better understanding of the global business market, and how they can apply the knowledge discussed to their own businesses.
To ensure this, all course materials are translated in a clear and consistent manner across the languages offered so students do not fall behind during lessons.
Challenge 3: Adapting Marketing Materials
Part of the GEA program involves generating awareness and interest for the next year’s course well in advance. This means all marketing and informational materials (in print and online) need to be translated and adapted to appeal to target student audiences globally.
For this particular program, that included brochures, website pages, and online advertising campaigns.
Challenge 4: Coordinating 5 High-Level Conference Interpreters Simultaneously
As the students attending MIT’s GEA program would all be in class together, five separate teams of interpreters were needed to ensure that participants and lecturers understood and could engage in fruitful discussions – despite six different languages at work in the room.
In a classroom setting requiring multilingual collaboration such as this, providing interpretation is especially challenging and calls for a special technique known as relay interpreting.
On top of that, the interpreters are expected to be familiar with the topics of discussion to best present lectures to the students. As such, our team needed to coordinate experienced, subject matter experts for the duration of the program.
Language Connections was able to address the challenges presented by the MIT project by forming a scalable, efficient, and comprehensive solution that ensured all work was completed on time without sacrificing quality.
A: You Trust Language Connections 25 Years Of Experience Interpreting For Academia!
With the expertise of our linguistic professionals and in-house project managers, Language Connections was able to contribute to the success of the Global Executive Academy program.
Our translators as well as our team of interpreters were well-versed in the field and business terminology. As a result, all international participants were able to have the same outstanding educational experience regardless of what language they spoke.
Language Connections maintains an ongoing relationship with MIT Sloan School of Management to this day, regularly providing them with necessary language support.
This past fall Language Connections worked with MIT GEA for the fourth year in a row, providing language services for the 2016 Global Executive Academy program.
Such a high level of personal dedication … really helped make our event successful to the very end.
– Executive Assistant, MIT
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About Language Connections:
Language Connections is a language service provider. We specialize in technical, medical and legal translation, simultaneous and consecutive interpreting, website and software localization, and corporate language programs and interpreter training. We provide certified, professional translation in 100+ languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, German, and French. With over 20 years of experience, we have expertise in all major industries including the life sciences, patent and immigration law, international business, global education, and advanced technology. We offer cost-efficient interpreting and conference solutions that will meet your multilingual needs for all types of international events – business meetings, conferences, lectures or presentations.
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