Beyond the Major in French, Spanish, and Romance Languages
Letters of recommendation:
Students in the department should understand that, whether their goal is graduate school or employment, recommendations from departmental faculty will be essential. Good recommendations come from faculty who know you and your work thoroughly and who can speak to the qualities that distinguish you from other students. Enthusiasm, interest in relevant subject matter beyond the classroom, willingness to do more than what is simply required, are examples of the characteristics that we hope to find in our majors.
Washington and Lee's Career Development Center:
Should be your first stop on the career trail. Go early! http://careers.wlu.edu/
A major in Spanish or French provides a very sound preparation for graduate school in languages or in related fields. Especially strong language majors also make excellent candidates for graduate fellowship programs like the Fulbright, Watson, Rhodes, or Rotary. Speak with professors in the discipline and/or in related disciplines. They often have helpful insight as to motivation for attending graduate school, types of programs, top schools, teaching, research, tips on what to be doing to prepare for graduate school, grant opportunities, what the actual experience will be like, etc.
Teaching Spanish/French in the U.S.
Consider speaking with the Director of the Teacher Education Program at W&L, particularly if you are interested in public school teaching. There are many organizations, such as Southern Teachers Association in Charlottesville, that can help you to get your resume to different types of schools in broad geographical ranges. It is good to get on their mailing lists early. Visit the Teacher Education at W&L.
Teaching English Abroad:
There are many ways to go about teaching English abroad—from the formal approach through a program to the informal approach of just showing up in a country and seeing what turns up. Job opportunities range from formal schools to informal tutoring to business-oriented teaching. Consult the Center for International Education for information, brochures, and advice on this career choice.
Career Services is useful for linking your business and Spanish/French interests. Consult also with professors from the Williams School.
Speak with professors from W&L’s Journalism Department.
Speak with W&L professors, visit Career Services, consider a visit to the Admissions Office at W&L Law.
Speak with W&L professors, the Pre-Med Adviser http://chemistry.wlu.edu/HealthProfessions.html. You might also consider working with ESOL so that you can work on medical Spanish through the Translations and Hotline Committees.
Your Spanish / French is a great skill in the area of political life. There are many places to contact in D.C. (embassies, OAS, senators, etc.) and beyond, of course. You should especially consult the Politics Department about The Washington Term (Politics Department at W&L)
Study Abroad Guides and Administrators:
This is an area that many students do not consider until they have had significant experience abroad. The ever-expanding study-abroad field offers many career opportunities (front office administration; on-location guides; travel planners; university liaisons; etc.). See Center for International Education and W&L language professors.
A number of RL alumni have spent significant periods abroad in French and Spanish-speaking countries. Our alumni network can be one of the most fruitful resources you enjoy. Contact RL faculty for names of alumni.