Reflection by Clara Schultz - UMN

Clara Schultz is an alum of the Fall 2017 (direct enrollment) and Spring 2018 (internship) program:

            I didn't know what I wanted to do after graduation, so I tried to find an internship opportunity that would be widely applicable and enjoyable. That mindset lead me to the Shanghai Daily as a journalist intern. In my internship, I used Mandarin everyday to speak with my coworkers and to interview native speakers on a variety of topics. It was not a fully immersive environment, as the Shanghai Daily is an English newspaper. But the workplace culture was great and my co-workers were fun to spend time with. I had lots of memorable experiences and got to practice using Mandarin in a professional environment.

            As a liberal arts student, I never thought there would be space for someone like me in software development. After graduation I realized that was an incorrect assumption. I am now working towards becoming a Product Owner at a company that creates embedded telematics units for semi trucks. In my experience, the skills and abilities that one is forced to cultivate while learning a new language and adapting to a new culture are highly transferable to the workplace.

            After finishing Flagship and moving back to Minneapolis, I was worried about maintaining my language ability. I thrive in the structure of a classroom setting and am not the type of student who can teach themselves. So I reached out to one of my language instructors from university and now she is my private tutor. It is expensive, but I have found her expertise to be well worth the cost. An added benefit of her being my tutor are the social connections that I have been able to form with her colleagues. She introduced me to a few teachers who have come to the University of Minnesota from ICLP in Taiwan. I have been able to be a local friend who helps them explore the fun cultural experiences Minneapolis has to offer.