Ask Away: 5 Questions for a German and IT Grad Starting Her Career
We’re asking students, teachers, and counselors five questions on how languages play a role in shaping personal and professional success…
Meet Ena—a recent Aquinas College grad whose majors in Management Information Systems and German have lead to a role in Marketing and Customer Service.
1. You’re a recent graduate from Aquinas College, where you studied German and Management Information Systems… Why German? How did a language focus complement the business side of your degree?
Business is universal obviously, and I believe that the more languages you know the better you can conduct business. I also think learning a language and about its culture makes you more aware of your surroundings and can help you adapt in new cultural settings. This is especially important if you travel internationally a lot ,which is my goal in the end and my reason for studying German at Aquinas.
2. Could you tell us a little about your experience studying at the University of Tübingen in Germany? How do you think your time abroad contributed to your journey with German?
Studying abroad was one of the best experiences of my life, and I think that every student learning a language should do it.
You really have to step out of your comfort zone and I feel that the most growing and learning happens when you do step out of your comfort zone. I am a hands-on type of learner and there’s no better classroom for studying German than actually being in Germany. You really get to immerse yourself in the language and culture which would never happen if you only studied German in a classroom in America.
3. You’re a member of Delta Phi Alpha, the National German Honor Society. How did your membership enhance your experience learning German? Why do you think it is important to get involved in student organizations?
I think that surrounding yourself with people learning the same thing benefits everyone because you can help each other. There might be some things you do not know that someone else does and can help you with—and vice versa.
4. What has been your favorite experience while learning German?
Last year I had the opportunity of training in Germany for my current job. I was there for 4 months and even the training I had to do was in German. This was a really big challenge, especially when you have to use German in a professional setting, but the experience was amazing. By the end of my stay, I even started thinking in German and that was when it clicked in my head: “Wow, I have learned a lot in these 4 short months.”
Many people might not think of that as anything, but that is my most vivid memory of feeling accomplished in the German language.
5. What advice do you have for students who are looking to integrate language learning with a future career in business? Why is it important for students to participate in advocating for language programs and opportunities?
I think learning a language should be a requirement for anyone studying business. The one piece of advice I have for people incorporating another language in their professional life is don’t be shy! People will admire you so much more if you try speaking in their language, even if you mess up or do not say it right.
The more you challenge yourself the better you will learn.
Also, native speakers will always be polite and correct you, which is another great learning method.
As I mentioned before, I think learning a second language should be a requirement, and unfortunately not all people have the same opportunities to do so. I also feel like this is something that is being cut out of curricula more often now. Learning a language should be just as important as math or science.
BONUS QUESTION: Now that you’ve graduated, does German play a role in your current work?
I currently work as a Marketing Manager/Customer Service Representative for a German company called Eisele Connectors. We work with a German marketing agency, and I am communicating daily with them in German.
Are you interested in German language scholarships, university programs, or student testimonials? Visit our Lead with German page to learn more. How about other language stories from professionals like Ena—we’ve got you covered!
And as always, don’t forget to share your language learning story @LeadWLanguages on social media!