Alumnae Advice

Lauren Stillman '06, U. S. Army Chaplain

Impact: My background in German was very helpful for my Master of Divinity degree. It has also provided me with a cultural awareness and sensitivity that is vital for the work of a chaplain.

Advice: Study abroad in Germany for one year. Live with German students and take classes with only German professors. If possible, get an internship there as well.

Edana Kleinhans '03, Graduate Student

Impact: German Studies definitely played a decisive role in helping me choose my profession. I am now studying for my masters in German and English in Stuttgart, Germany. The major opened up a path for me that has been very fulfilling, both professionally and intellectually.

Advice: Make the most of your chance to learn as much about German Studies as you can. Mount Holyoke has unbelievable resources when it comes to foreign languages, and a support network you won't find anywhere else.

Carmel Karina OMeara '95, Humanitarian Worker

Impact: The Junior year abroad that came as a result of studying German was a transformative experience for me. I gained an understanding of how to adapt to and navigate within other cultures. I also learned what I valued most within my own culture. In my current work, which focuses on emergency relief and development, these are the most essential skills that I have.

Advice: Trust that all your studies really will be worthwhile. 10 years after graduation I was in graduate school. I decided (for fun) to take the German exam that was required for Philosophy and Theology PhD candidates. I passed with ease thanks to the amount of drill work (2 years of 10 hours per week!) I had done in the basement of the Ciruti Center. If I seek a doctoral degree then I will have no fear of the required language exam. For seniors: Move outside your comfort zone as soon as possible after graduation and find a good Stammtisch so that you don't forget your German.

Jennifer K. McCarthy '92, Foreign Language Instructor

Impact: My success in German class at MHC and the experience tutoring students in German at MHC had a great impact on solidifying my desire to teach Foreign Language. The wonderful courses I took at MHC, the German Theater Festival and many other positive things excited my intellect and helped me keep learning & teaching. (And still do to this day!)

Advice: Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.

Deborah Piroch '89, Producer/International Broadcasting

Impact: HUGE. Too numerous to mention here, but I lived abroad a total of five years, including both study and, mostly, work abroad. This granted me a tremendous perspective I still use in my day-to-day work, which includes producing German language programming at the world's largest Christian broadcaster.

Advice: Internships are not optional. Do as many as possible, at as high a level as possible, before you graduate. Do them even in career areas that are not where you want to focus - because maybe 5 years from now, you have "been there, done that" and will need to transition to a new area. After you leave school these opportunities are much more difficult to find, largely closed off for you without prior experience.

Carlee Arnett '87, Professor of German

Impact: I am a professor of German!

Advice: After 20 years in the field and watching hundreds of German majors graduate, I can say that no one is unemployed or sorry that they were a German major. I have taught at Ohio State, Michigan, the University of Arizona, Berkeley and Davis. Do what you love and the rest will follow.