METM18 presentation 

Association management, an unexpected career

Jane Lewis, Canet de Mar, Catalonia, Spain

MET members work with English generally in Mediterranean countries and this opens up unexpected opportunities: they may start off teaching English as a foreign language but later find themselves translating or editing research articles, interpreting, or teaching scientific writing and oral communication. The common thread of this diversity is the need for facilitators of an internationally dominant language in societies where it is not mastered. Identifying the potential linguistic needs of sectors of the community and acquiring the skills necessary to facilitate that language in the corresponding situations opens the door to many and varied jobs. In this talk I will introduce association management as one of those, as a career opportunity for English-language facilitators with a desire to complicate their lives.

European associations tend to use English as their vehicle language and there may be no native English speakers among their board members. An English-speaking association manager facilitates communication at all levels (web, correspondence, meeting agendas and minutes, speeches) as well as providing continuity and experience in event management and carrying out administrative tasks such as membership and accounts. Diversity, travel, human contact, independence and a steady salary are some of the benefits, but it is not for the fainthearted.

About the presenter

Jane Lewis is executive officer of the European Society for Swallowing Disorders and editor of medical texts for the gastroenterology and motility research team at MatarĂ³ Hospital, Catalonia, Spain. Previous to the ESSD, Jane held the same association management post for the European Society for Transplant Coordinators for six years and was on the first governing council of MET.