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Center for Language Studies
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Brigham Young University
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Language Certificate Recipients' Stories of Success!

Nate Rowley (Spanish Major, Management Minor)

I have had several occasions where current BYU students who speak a second language have asked me what I did at BYU with my language.  Not only did I complete my Bachelor of Arts in Spanish but I also got my Language Certificate.  Being able to speak Spanish has opened up numerous employment opportunities for me.  When the employers ask me how good my Spanish is I tell them about my language certificate.  They are always very impressed.  I had one particular employment offer where my Spanish would have been a critical part of my job.  I turned this offer down but I continue getting phone calls from the company because they want my Spanish skills. 

My current position with the company I work for has allowed me to travel to Puerto Rico several times to work with our Spanish speaking clients there.  I am so grateful for the language programs at BYU and am most grateful for the Language Certificate Program because it provides solid evidence of my second language skills.  It is definitely worth the extra effort!


Spencer Liebel (Psychology Major, Spanish Minor)

In the Fall of 2012 I applied to Clinical Psychology graduate programs around the country. These graduate programs are some of the most selective in the US (even more so than medical or law schools) and typically only accept 2-10% of applicants. For example, several of the programs to which I applied received over 300 applications and only had five open slots to fill. Needless to say, the competition was intense. The Language Certificate helped me "stand out" from the crowd of other applicants who had similar grades and tests scores and helped showcase my abilities beyond numerical quantifiers. In each of my grad school interviews the interviewers asked me about my Language Certificate. They wanted to know which Spanish courses I took, what the certificate testing procedures were like, and of course, if I wanted to conduct research on bilingualism. In the end, I gained admission to my first-choice university where I will start Fall 2013. I believe that the Language Certificate helped me achieve this goal and will only continue to help me in the future.


Spencer Salmon (Economics Major)

When I was getting my certificate I never would have imagined that it would provide the accreditation for me to teach 3rd grade IN Spanish at a dual immersion elementary school in Delaware. My story is a bit long, but in short I applied to Teach For America, got in, and in large part because of my language certificate, was placed in a bilingual teaching position. It has been an adventure I never would have anticipated but one that I am thoroughly enjoying.


Anonymous (Environmental Science Major, German Minor)

To be honest I never thought my language skills would be profitable. However because I took the OPI and WPT exams I have proof for employers that I can speak another language. Even without speaking German, they can know how well I speak. Since graduating I've been looking for jobs and applied to many places. I recently received an offer to be a German Customer Service Representative for the LDS church's Global Services. (And this isn't the first job I've gotten due to my German.)  My language skills have actually proved to be quite profitable in my life. I would definitely recommend the OPI and WPT to anyone considering it. You never know when it will come in handy. 


Pamella Black (Communications Disorders Major, Spanish Minor)

I received an email saying I earned the BYU Language Certificate an hour before a job interview I had to be a bilingual service coordinator  for a non-profit organization working with developmentally challenged children... and I got the job! Thank-you, Thank-you! I know I would not have gotten the job without those credentials!


Benjamin Hayford (Chinese Major, Management Minor)

After finishing my Bachelors at BYU, I entered a Master's program that requires foreign language competency prior to graduation.  The faculty adviser for the Master's language graduation requirement was ecstatic when he learned that I had tested Advanced-Mid in spoken Mandarin Chinese.  I walked through the front door into the program with a graduation requirement already complete.  My BYU Advanced Language Certificate has been a tangible, direct benefit to me professionally.  The Language Certificate has opened doors for me and I am confident that it will continue to do so for years to come.


Luciano Acosta (Business Management Major, Spanish Minor)

I first interviewed with CitiGroup, and after assessing my knowledge in finance they were particular in asking me about how well I could speak Spanish. After I explained the requirements for the Language Certificate, they totally changed the interview to Spanish, rather than in English. From that experience I received an internship offer to work for their offices in Ft. Lauderdale.

I was also interviewed by JP Morgan Chase, and once again, after they assessed my knowledge in finance they wanted to know more about the Certificate (which I had listed in my resume) and about my ability to speak Spanish, and how could I use it in the workplace.

Finally, for the job I ended up taking, the interviewers were particular in asking how well I could carry on conversations and how interested I would be in moving to countries where Spanish is the main language, if they needed me to go.  After the typical finance interview questions, I explained how well I could carry on Spanish conversations in a business setting. I was able to expand on the Language Certificate and how it had prepared me with the training needed. I now work in the finance team at a multinational company with presence in 24 countries, and in continuous expansion. I feel that having the Language Certificate was a great plus in their decision to hire me. I believe there is a great possibility for growth and for serving others thanks to the knowledge acquired through the Certificate requirements.


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