The opportunities that are available with a foreign language degree are limitless and they can open up a whole new world.
My language of concentration was Spanish, but I also studied 2 years of French and Mandarin Chinese. I minored in Latin American Studies. When I was in school and I would tell someone my major, they would automatically jump to the conclusion that I was going to be a teacher. However, I always knew that I wasn’t one of those people who are meant to teach. I never felt a calling to it. My calling was to travel. I wanted to see any and every part of the world that I could, and I wanted to be able to help people along the way. I also wanted to make a good living while doing so.
My degree in foreign languages was my ticket to do all of those things. I am currently employed as an International Project Manager by Yargus Manufacturing, based out of Marshall, IL. Yargus is a global leader in the fertilizer equipment and material handling industry. To explain it in a very general sense, we make equipment for the blending of fertilizer. We have sold systems throughout North America, Latin America, Africa, Australia, Europe and Asia. As a Project Manager I get to visit these countries for conferences and to attend site visits. Even when I’m not traveling, every day I speak to and meet new people from all over the world, while using the language skills I learned at EIU. Not only do I get to fulfill my dreams of seeing the world, I am lucky enough to be employed by a company that is working to help feed people where food is scarce. We work with several non-profit companies to bring food to people who never take a meal for granted.
A few weeks ago I was in Nigeria for a forum on fertilizer. I actually got to sit and have a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture of Nigeria. I get to use my Spanish and French almost every single day! My next trip will be Australia, and then I’m hoping to go to South America for a few site visits.
I am so completely fulfilled and challenged by my job every single day. I have my professors and my studies at EIU to thank for that. I strongly suggest that if you are thinking about studying foreign languages to try and branch out, and see where they can take you in life. The opportunities that are available with a foreign language degree are limitless and they can open up a whole new world.