I say this all the time: I love hearing from former students. So I was very happy to see Arielle's message in my inbox.
First, take a moment to see how professionally she wrote and formatted it.
Second, notice how she managed to combine her Spanish and engineering during her internship.
Finally, read through it again to see how well she makes connections and networks.
Hola Profesora Abbott,
This is Arielle Anderson, a past student of yours from your Spanish for Business Class in the Fall of 2013. This December will mark the beginning of my last year towards a degree in Industrial Engineering. This summer, I worked as an industrial engineering intern for a medical supplies manufacturing company and used Spanish on a daily basis communicating with warehouse workers and writing bilingual best practice documents. Your class, which I have listed on my resume, was very helpful in this regard. This aspect of my internship was the most interesting and fulfilling part. If you wanted, we could meet and discuss it sometime. I think a lot of things would be interesting to touch on in your class that I took.
Anyway, I am reaching out to you because of some research I am doing related to my IE degree and restaurant operations. I remembered from your class that we had made observations about your friend's restaurant's Facebook page called Seven Saints. (I actually ended up going out to eat there soon after, very good!) I was wondering if you could put me in contact with her if she would be interested.
[I deleted the paragraph with the details of her project. --Ann]
If you wouldn't mind forwarding this to your friend or putting me in contact with her, I would really appreciate it. I hope all is well!
You can learn a lot from Arielle! By studying Spanish along with engineering, she was able to work on interesting projects and add value for her employer. And by remembering details from the class we had together, she was able to make connections to her current research project which at first glance seem far apart.
I congratulate Arielle on her professionalism and hold her up to all my current students as a model of how to network with your professors and of how to make connections across your courses.
I invited her out for lunch, and this was her reply: "I have a lot more to share about my experience this summer. I was actually very surprised just how much my Spanish skills played into my engineering job this summer. And I would love to have lunch and share my views on this experience with you and catch up."
So remember to network, be open, be professional and connect Spanish with whatever field you end up in.