Greg Gillespie – (BAFLL Three Languages 2009)
My studies at UD’s Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures have brought me to many interesting places in the world and have allowed me to achieve my career goals. I majored in Three Languages – Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Most people would react in the same way upon hearing this mix of languages: “But those are very different languages!” While they are very different, representing various points on the globe, I have been able to use each one in both personal development and career advancement. Spanish has been useful in everyday life, Chinese has been useful in gaining business experience in the corporate world, and Russian has been useful in reaching the next level of my longtime career aspirations – working for the US government.
Ever since I can remember, I had always wanted to work at an embassy, and last year it finally happened. Upon graduation from UD in 2009, I became part of a federal volunteer corps as a Russian interpreter. During this time I was able to complete my master’s degree, specializing in Russian and East European Studies. After years of language examinations, security clearances, paperwork, and interviews, I was offered a position at the US Embassy in Moscow, Russia. As an “Investigative Coordinator and Linguist” my days are filled with interviewing individuals from Russia and the former Soviet Union, translating and interpreting, and absorbing the world of diplomacy. My experiences in UD’s Russian program have helped me get to where I am today. One of the most critical parts of my studies was my participation in UD’s Study Abroad program in St. Petersburg, Russia in the summer of 2007. Even though learning the language was a key component of my major, learning about Russian culture and the contemporary way of life in a post-communist society has truly prepared me for some of the things I see on a daily basis.
And the best part of majoring in Three Languages? My next job assignment could be in China or Latin America – and I’ve got the skills and education ready to go.