As many of you, I also had no idea of what it meant to be a translator, and actually I had never thought I would become one until my Master's Degree, when I happened to find a part-time job as a translator for a small food and wine company in my city. I didn't have any experience, my degree only included coursework in Literary Translation, but my biggest luck was that I found an awesome mentor in one of my professors who had worked as a translator. After I earned my Master's, I worked in-house for the same company until 2015, when I started my freelance career. So it was basically a series of coincidences!
March_ts Wow, working for National Geographic sounds awesome ? Also, you have never worked for agencies, you're so lucky ? Even if, honestly, I guess I have been sort of lucky, too, because I have somehow found honest, trustworthy agencies that also treat translators like professionals, which is amazing actually. In fact, besides direct clients, I still work with some agencies even now.