Christina S.

"I remember excellent professors who were motivating, patient and tough."

View LinkedIn Profile

Major(s) and Certificate(s): Spanish, Journalism, Chicana & Latina Studies certificate

Language(s): Spanish

Graduation Year: 2010

Current Location: Madison, WI 

What have you done since graduating from UW-Madison?

After finishing my undergraduate career, I went on to complete my Master’s degree in Library & Information Studies at UW-Madison. With my library education complete, I went on to work with children at a public library, and eventually, as an academic librarian at a large community college. In these two positions, I have felt lucky to have my Spanish language skills. In a public library, I was better able to communicate some of our patron base in their native language and was even able to offer special programming like bilingual storytimes to families in our community. Now at an academic institution, I am also able to communicate with some students who are non-native English speakers that may feel more comfortable speaking in Spanish. I have also been involved in outreach activities both in work and outside of work, using my language skills for promotion and outreach.

What motivated you to study this/these languages?

Since I was young, I have had a desire to speak fluent Spanish due to my family background. I have many family members who are native Spanish speakers and I love communicating in two languages with them. Another motivation was knowing that being bilingual can open up unique job opportunities, whether with outreach positions or even working abroad or with international companies. I hope to continue to use my language skills in new ways in my professional career.

How have these languages enriched your life?

I have been able to talk to people of various backgrounds in more meaningful ways, and I have gained personal enrichment from the beauty of the Arts in Spanish, such as movies, television, music in Spanish. Learning a language has exposed me to more than just words, but to culture, to people, and different ways of thinking.

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

I remember excellent professors who were motivating, patient and tough.

How valuable were your out-of-classroom experiences?

I was able to secure two internships based on my language interests. One at a local bilingual newspaper and another at a local foundation for the Arts.

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

I continue to practice regularly to maintain my language skills. I also enjoy learning new vocabulary from different Spanish-speaking countries.

What advice do you have for current language students?

Keep on pushing through, it’ll be worth it.

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

Siempre pa’lante (always forward – as in life, keep on truckin’)