“At the moment I work at UW in the Department of Communication where my job is heavy on the operations side of things. Nothing in particular led me to this line of work but I spent 6 years abroad as a teacher in Istanbul, Turkey and when I came back, I ended up finding a job at UW. I started in the Department of Statistics and after a year moved to my current position with Communication. I like that my position is varied and pretty busy and I do a lot of different things. What I enjoy the most though is my daily interaction with the faculty and staff, especially with foreign faculty and staff. There aren’t as many in Communication as there were in Statistics but I love to hear where people came from and how they feel about living in Seattle as expats. My mind is always on travel so these are my favorite connections with people.
“I initially thought about pursuing some kind of grad degree in Italian because I love Italian that much. (I still do. Nothing makes me happier). However, I was kind of burnt out after graduating though and ended up moving to Istanbul, Turkey to teach English. I intended to stay for a year and come back for grad school but one year became two and two became three and next thing you know, I spent 6 years there. I came back in Aug 2015 after Turkey started to hit their rough patch as the lira was constantly losing value against the dollar. Teaching English abroad was incredible and being able to do so in Turkey meant I had the opportunity to travel around Europe a lot, including trips into Italy whenever I found a cheap ticket. I no longer think about grad school for Italian though because the truth is, I loved Italian so much that it masked the fact that I’m not actually terribly strong at the humanities side of things such as art and literature analysis. That being said, every so often I do consider if I want to pursue linguistics in the long run.
“I think something that is very unique to language majors, especially ones that have spent a significant amount of time abroad, is their perspective. This is maybe not even something I would have considered unique just after finishing my undergrad but it’s something I realize now is unique after living in Turkey and then coming back here. Intercultural awareness and empathy is something that is incredibly important to have, especially in this day and age. To be able to understand another culture and understand what it’s like to uproot your whole life and move somewhere foreign and new and to adjust and build a life while operating in a language that isn’t your mother tongue that you might not even be fluent in – it’s invaluable in my opinion and much needed.”