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Modern Languages and Literatures

MLL Career Panel

The MLL department hosted a career panel made up of recent alumni. 

Over thirty students attended last night’s Modern Languages and Literatures Annual Alumni Career Panel, where four former French and/or Spanish majors were welcomed by MLL Chair and Professor of French Cynthia Hahn.

Alumni made the case for linking coursework in language and culture, related internships and study abroad to graduate school entrance and jobs using their intercultural competence, across an array of fields including the health professions, educational counseling and international non-profits. All of the panelists stressed the importance of translation skills in the workplace which they acquired while at Lake Forest College in coursework, internships, volunteering and study abroad.

Michael Peters spoke about languages opening “doors” to the world and his invaluable experiences using French and beginning Wolof in Dakar for his studies and with his host family, as well as in a medical internship in a rural village in Senegal.

Nancy Cardenas stressed the value of translating for the parents of students with educational scholarships, a skill she acquired in a translation studies course at Lake Forest under Professor Denise Kripper.

Marisol Carreon was excited to note recent acceptance into DePaul University’s nursing program and knew that her medical Spanish coursework at Lake Forest, used while interpreting for Rosalind Franklin medical school in a volunteer position during her studies would be essential experience for her, while Michael spoke of how his knowledge of languages helped him get into in Rush University’s highly selective nursing program as of this past January, planning to use his knowledge of German, French and English as a nurse practitioner back in Canada after his graduate study.

And Diedre Suri spoke about her immersion in French with her internship at the French Heritage Society in Paris and then through her TAPIF (Teaching Assistant in France) year in Toulouse, France, teaching English to schoolchildren who also needed coaching in French. This prepared her for her work at Rotary International as one of the two French-speaking staff in her department, answering communications in French from around the world.

See the Careers/Success stories page for a fuller profile on each of these successful alumni. Their comments, encouragement and advice were much appreciated by all in attendance, and Ben Rohde of the Career Advancement Center, which sponsored food for the event, made the connection to various career pathways and the need to be flexible and open to various career paths and acquire a variety of skills, while utilizing the resources their office has to offer all students at the College.