Monday, April 25, 2016

Jackie Lamirande: a graduating senior shares her experiences as a Spanish major

The following is an excerpt from the speech that Jackie Lamirande made at the Modern Language Award Ceremony on April 20, 2016.  Jackie is a senior with double-major in Marketing and Spanish. She also studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain. Jackie also represented the Spanish program on the Dean's Advisory Council.

Professor Houston and Jackie

I have found through my limited professional experience so far that the world has become more global than ever before and a second language is key to most professional careers. Many students graduate from Bryant University with a business degree and when entering the job market they are going up against thousands of other business students with their same qualifications. I believe that is where learning a second language is key. Business is becoming global from large corporations down to family companies and employers know this which is why I believe knowledge of a second language is what will set you apart from the thousands of other seniors in college graduating with a business degree.

I have found from waitressing in a restaurant, to my internship this past year at AAA that I have used Spanish in so many different facets of my life. I am a double major in marketing and Spanish and I have personally found that the pairing of a double Spanish major has opened up more doors for me than I could have ever imagined. I started off as a minor in Spanish, then moved up to a concentration, when going abroad I spoke with Professor Moon who showed me ways to work my schedule while in Spain so I could have enough credits to possibly double major, that way my Spanish concentration would not be finished when I returned and I would still be able to practice and improve on my language skills. Within two times in her office I was sold (be careful though, she’s very convincing). In Spain I saw how much my Spanish was improving and I wanted to try as hard as I possibly could to become fluent to expand the opportunities I currently had, it was one of the best decisions of my life.

On every interview I have gone on since my time at Bryant University I have been asked two questions that I believe help me stand apart from other Marketing candidates, one about my study abroad experience and one regarding my double major in Spanish. Employers seem to be impressed by the knowledge of a second language and it has helped me professionally in many ways. While at my internship for AAA Northeast I was able to assist Spanish members with questions and concerns they may have, I also spoke with our Spanish speaking members during professional events, and my supervisor and manager considered my second language to be a major asset to our team.

My double Spanish major gave me the opportunity to do a directed study which gave me the freedom to do research in Spanish on a topic that I had a particular interest with. In my directed study I was able to merge my interests in marketing with my interests in Spanish to do a research project on the differences in what resonates with Hispanics versus other consumers in advertising campaigns and why companies should be advertising to Hispanic consumers. I found that looking at advertising campaigns specifically targeted at Hispanics doing research on what resonates well with Hispanics was my passion. My knowledge in this field also gained me the opportunity to work as a consultant for AAA on their initiatives for their 2016 Hispanic marketing campaign, which at such a young age was an incredible opportunity. The double major in Spanish has given me direction in my marketing degree and I know now that getting into my career I would eventually love to get into a role where I can use my knowledge from my research to help a company create a marketing campaign targeted toward Hispanics. The Spanish department at Bryant is incredible with professors that will give you the advice and attention you need to succeed, they go above and beyond for their students and I could not have had a more positive experience.
Jackie and Profe Moon

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