Alex W.

"Both of the jobs I was hired for after graduation (including my current position) were due to my fluency in Spanish."

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Major(s) and Certificate(s): Spanish, Gender & Women Studies, Chicano & Latino Studies

Language(s): Spanish

Graduation Year: 2014

Current Location: Madison, WI

What have you done since graduating from UW-Madison?

From January to December 2015 I worked as a Bilingual Pre-K Teacher in the Verona Area School District. In January of 2016, I started working as a Bilingual Service Coordinator for Family Service Madison’s Birth to Three Program.

What motivated you to study this/these languages?

I always loved learning the language and I knew I wanted to study abroad in a Spanish speaking country.

How have these languages enriched your life?

Both of the jobs I was hired for after graduation (including my current position) were due to my fluency in Spanish.

What do you remember about your UW language classes? How were they different from other classes you took?

I loved my Spanish classes at UW. My favorite professor was Ksenija Bilbija, who I took a course with as a freshman. She later contacted me as a junior and we did collaborative research together through a Hilldale Grant.

How valuable were your out-of-classroom experiences?

Going to Peru changed me for the better—it was one of the most stressful, but rewarding times in my life. I got the opportunity to experience a culture completely different than my own. I learned the great feats I was capable of accomplishing on my own in a new country.

How have you maintained or improved your language(s) since graduation?  

I use Spanish at work and continue to watch telenovelas, news in Spanish, listen to Spanish music, and stay connected with Spanish speaking friends.

What advice do you have for current language students?

Immerse yourself in the language you want to learn! And don’t limit yourself to just one foreign language. After graduating, I decided I wanted to learn a third language and am now taking Continuing Studies courses for Portuguese.

What is your favorite word or phrase in a language you know?

Caminantes no hay puentes, se hace puentes al andar—Gloria Anzaldúa (Translation: “Traveler, there are no bridges, bridges are made as you go.”)