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Study abroad experiences leads to gain in careers

Posted on March 23, 2019
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Study abroad

The 3 alumni of Hamilton College in Clinton, New York revealed how their study abroad experiences helped them with their careers. They are:

  • Hank Arnold – 1998 batch, Finance Manager, Johnson & Johnson
  • Dan Keys – 1989 batch, Benefits Manager, Corning, Inc.
  • Sara Schonfeld – 1999 batch, Staff Scientist, National Cancer Institute

The talk was organized by Hamilton Career Centre Student Employees. It focused on the study abroad experiences of these alumni. It also revealed how proficiency in a foreign language assisted them in exploring diverse overseas career fields.

A Spanish major, Arnold took advantage of the open curriculum in Hamilton in his senior year. He took up a course in Russian inspired by the love of the language. This eventually led him to teach English to the Peace Corps in Siberia.

A major in Russian studies, Keys was in Russia for 1 year to develop language skills and understanding of the Russian culture. Also a major in Russian studies, Schonfeld studied in Russia while at Hamilton. She obtained a Watson Fellowship for post-graduate studies in Global Health.

The 3 alumni were questioned by the students regarding the role of the foreign language in their work domain. They also asked about the most valuable lessons from study abroad for a foreign language.

The panellists acknowledged that they do not routinely use the skills in a foreign language in their current jobs. However, they noted that it has impacted their individual career pathways, as quoted by the Hamilton Edu.  This specifically underlining the significance of study abroad in an immersive setting, they added.

I use these skills all the time said Keys. These are cultural sensitivity skills, communication skills, empathizing with other people, and understating their viewpoints, he added. These are skills that are universally applicable, added Keys.

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