I currently work as a marketing manager for Amazon in the Kindle Direct Publishing department. It's my job to help support and market the books written by independent authors who have decided to go the non-traditional route of self-publishing. I love this position because I can see the direct impact my work has on authors and in helping readers discover books they may never have heard of otherwise. My work is breaking down barriers in the established publishing industry. And while this career may seem like a long way from Italian, I never could have gotten to this point of success in my career without the support of the French & Italian Studies department. My advice for current students would be to first and foremost enjoy every second of your time there. Pursue your passions. Then network, network, network during your time at UW. Sign up for every opportunity available to you, apply for scholarships, present your research, and make connections because you never know who could help you get that first job out of college.
I signed up for Italian on a whim during my freshman year of college and it was the best decision I ever made. Italian Instructor Ruggero Taradel encouraged me to apply for the Rome study abroad program in the spring. That study abroad with Ruggero and Claudio was utterly lifechanging, living with an Italian host family in Rogliano and exploring Italy and broadening my horizons in ways I never could have understood before going. When I returned, Sabrina helped me declare Italian as my major and she helped me every step of the way through my senior year and beyond. Many people told me that a degree in Italian wasn't going to get me anywhere after college, but I still decided to pursue my passions instead of a professional degree. I took Italian poetry with Giuseppe Leporace where he helped introduce me to the beauty of Italian poetry and translation (which I later used the homework samples from that class for my application at Microsoft as a Localization Specialist) and was endlessly supportive of my fellowship applications and my graduate applications. I took Italian Cinema with Claudio and fell utterly in love with Italian films and I still to this day go to the Cinema Italian Style festival at SIFF. I found incredible mentors like Sabrina Tatta, Giuseppe Leporace, Claudio Mazzola, and Ruggero Taradel who helped me to learn and grow as a student and through their support I was able to get my first job out of college at Microsoft as a Localization Specialist for apps and games for the Italian marketplace and then pursue a master's at the University of Chicago in International Relations. UW is a huge school, but with the help and support of French & Italian Studies, they made it feel like a tightknit community I could depend on. I will forever be grateful to every one of the professors, lecturers, and advisors who helped shape my journey at UW and helped me find success post-graduation.