Acquiring Skills After Graduation

December 2009—what a time that was! After four years of blood, sweat, and tears (tears mainly), I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I could finally get out in the world to reap the rewards of my education. However, that “light” wasn’t opportunity but a freight train heading right for me. The economy had crashed a year before. Jobs were (and still are) scarce. And it seems like everybody has a degree. After working in sales for two years, it was time to go back to finish my bachelor’s degree in Spanish.

When you already have one degree and pursue a second, there’s one question people inevitably ask: “But you have one degree already. Why a second?” It’s a reasonable question. I shouldn’t have trouble answering it (but I really do). Given that my dad is an 18-year veteran of the US Internal Revenue Service, government employment is a natural choice. With my passion for languages, the US State Department stands out as my primary choice. But let’s face it, the application process for US government employment is not a walk in the park. As a marketing major, I know that building a unique set of skills is key to getting a foot in the door. I assume that, by virtue of the State Department’s mission and purpose, knowing a second language is good; knowing a third is better.

For me, the key to building that very set of skills is Rosetta Stone. The natural, intuitive approach its products offer allow me to easily balance my Spanish studies at Virginia Commonwealth University while taking on Brazilian Portuguese on my own time (with comparable efficiency!). Unlike a traditional classroom, I can take the program anywhere with me. I have it on my computer and the TOTALe Companion app on my iPhone. If it’s been a while, I get the chance to refresh myself on what I’ve learned before moving on to new material. It’s like carrying a digital version of class!

Not only does this benefit my current degree, but it will add a unique skill when I apply to graduate school for a master’s degree in business with a concentration in global marketing management. Business operates on a global scale these days—and the ability to reach across barriers with language skills seems necessary.

graduates throwing caps

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Josh Wilberger

Josh Wilberger currently attends Virginia Commonwealth University, majoring in Spanish with a minor in Russian Studies. As a boy who took speech classes in kindergarten, he never expected to find an interest in foreign languages. But from the tildes of Spanish to the Cyrillic alphabet of Russian, he now enjoys languages as ways to grow and learn. Not having traveled abroad, Josh has a dream itinerary that includes Spain, Brazil, and Russia, among other destinations. He hopes to further augment his linguistic background with Italian, French, and Polish.
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