by Ann Abbott
Mike Hedge was a student in my Spanish & Entrepreneurship course during Spring 2009. Despite having his arm in a cast, he did wonderful work in the community and in the classroom. His viewpoints were always especially interesting to me because he did his initial community service learning (CSL) work during his study-abroad semester in Costa Rica.
I was absolutely delighted to receive a message from him telling me about his current job and use of Spanish. Not only is Mike a wonderful role model for all Spanish students, I think his trajectory points out something else that is important for them to see:
You may not know what job title you will have in your first job, so make sure that you are qualified for any job that requires intelligence, good communication skills, analytical thinking, entrepreneurial thinking and the ability to work well in a multicultural team.
That's what Mike is doing, and he probably never imagined that he would be working specifically as an "International Logistics Supervisor" at the downtown Chicago PepsiCo office. Don't set your sites on a specific job title; prepare yourself to be flexible, with valuable, transferable skills.
Congratulations on your great success, Miguel. Your experience is very enlightening for all students.
Here is Mike's note:
"I am writing to tell you that I have found a job where I am able to use my Spanish every day. Only 2 months after my graduation in May I was hired by PepsiCo. My title within the company is International Logistics Supervisor and my role is to coordinate product production at our plants with trucking lines and vessel sailing schedules in order to transport products for Gatorade, Quaker, Tropicana and Frito Lay down to countries all across Latin America. Most of my exports go down to Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru y Colombia. I speak with forwarders and customers agents in these countries daily and am able to do so with my ability to speak Spanish. My grasp of the Spanish language is what got me this job and I would like to thank you for contributing so much to my education."