Spanish, East Asian Studies
Why did you choose to major/minor in Spanish or pursue a concentration in Latin American, Iberian and Latino Studies?
I had studied Spanish for five years before coming to Haverford, and wanted to continue to develop my language skills and deepen my understanding of Hispanophone cultures and Spanish-language literature. In the Spanish courses that I took during my freshman year, my professors were dedicated and engaging, class discussions were lively, and the books I read and writing I did were challenging and exciting; these experiences cemented my decision to major in Spanish.
What is your current job and/or career path?
I work as a translator, interpreter and English language teacher in northern Japan.
What are your future educational and/or professional goals?
In the future, I hope to become more proficient in my weaker languages (German and Chinese) and to gain further credentials as an interpreter of Japanese into English. I also hope to use the Spanish language skills I acquired at Haverford to create opportunities for collaboration and exchange between Spanish-speakers and members of my community in Japan.
How has the Spanish/LAILS program helped you develop and pursue your professional goals?
Although Spanish is not a part of my daily work, the experiences I had in Haverford’s Spanish department continue to inform my practice as a language professional. My coursework taught me how to learn a language effectively at an advanced level, which has served me well as I work to improve my Japanese. Leading group tutorials for the Spanish department gave me my first practical experience with language teaching, which I love almost as much as learning. Finally, my professors’ thoughtful advice and guidance made me a more competent, careful, and critical reader, writer, and researcher, all skills that are crucial to my translation work.
What advice do you have for incoming/potential majors (and minors)?
I would urge potential majors and minors who are not native Spanish speakers to work constantly to improve their language skills. They can immerse themselves in Spanish-language media of all kinds, interact with members of the Spanish-speaking community at Haverford and beyond, and use spaced repetition software such as Anki. I would also encourage them to talk often with their fellow students and professors in the department and to discuss long-term trajectories as well as current coursework. In particular, it would be valuable to seek advice on engaging as deeply and as early as possible with research and scholarly work in the discipline.