Nicholas Ludmer is someone to watch. I believe that he is headed for truly great things. His drive and talent doesn't come from Spanish community service learning (CSL), but I'm happy to see that it fit very well with his values and desire to learn. (I have highlighted his accomplishments on this blog several times, and I hope to continue doing so.)
When students take their CSL work seriously, it can open many doors for them. If they have excelled in their CSL work, I like students to think about how they can use their experience in the following ways:
- Request letters of recommendation from their supervisors in the community.
- Gain insight into different career paths.
- Add solid information about their accomplishments in their resume (not just a bullet point on their list of volunteer activities).
- Expand on those accomplishments with specific examples in cover letters and job interviews.
- Differentiate themselves from other highly qualified college graduates by emphasizing their real-world language skills, cultural know-how and professional skills.
Nicholas did much more than that, he now has a full-time job working at the clinic where he did his Spanish CSL work last semester. He'll go to medical school next year, but in the meantime he has a job that will serve him well. He writes:
"Good News! I decided to work full time at Frances Nelson during my gap year. I feel like it's a great way for me to gain clinical experience, maintain and improve on my Spanish, and save up for medical school all at the same time. I am really excited to start there and wanted to say thank you. I would never have known about it or volunteered there had it not been for the CBL classes."
You know that your student has done a wonderful job in the community when the organization then turns around and hires him. Congratulations, Nicholas. I know you will be a wonderful asset to the clinic and an advocate for all the patients, but especially the Spanish-speaking ones.