Spanish & Portuguese Career Advising Page
WHAT CAN I DO WITH A MAJOR IN SPANISH?
Some Spanish majors will want to pursue the types of careers that are more typically
associated with foreign language majors such as teacher/professor, translator, or
interpreter. Although these are wonderful occupations, there are many other possibilities-
Travel Writer, Intelligence Specialist, Foreign Correspondent, International Trade Specialist,
Museum Curator, to name but a few- in the corporate, nonprofit, and government realms.
To see a starter list of some typical jobs and employers for Spanish
majors, check out this brochure
from the UW Career Center, and the
UNC Wilmington Career Center website.
YOUR CAREER-RELATED SKILLS AND STRENGTHS
Employers are usually more interested in your skills and strengths than in your
particular college major. Because you will be qualified for many career paths, your
biggest challenge might be narrowing down your options.
As a Spanish major at the University of Washington, you have developed
many skills that employers view as essential. You use some of these
skills so often that they have become second nature, so you might
not even realize that you have them.
Here are some examples*:
Speaking to groups
Collaborating as part of a team
Reading/writing another language
Explaining complex concepts
Reading critically, and for content & structure
Interpreting, compiling & recording data
Working with original sources in many fields
Determining the needs of others
Understanding cultural diversity
*Additional examples can be found at the
UNC Wilmington Career Center website.
THE VALUE OF A LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION
Spanish is considered to be a "liberal arts" major. A Liberal Arts degree is
extraordinarily valuable in today's world:
In addition, many recent studies, including a 2006 research study
How Should Colleges Prepare Students to Succeed in Today's Global
Economy?, indicate that business executives, when evaluating
the skills of potential hires, place the greatest emphasis on the
following (which you have developed as a Spanish major!):
- teamwork skills
- critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills
- communication skills
CAREER RESOURCES AT THE UW
The UW Career
Center in Mary Gates Hall assists with all aspects of your career development:
UW Counseling Center in Schmitz Hall offers two career inventories:
- Discovering what career(s) you're interested in
- Refining your resume and interviewing skills
- Finding internships
- Identifying activities you can pursue while in college that will enhance your resume
- Learning salary negotiation skills
- Applying to graduate or professional schools
Visit the Washington Occupational Information
Service for lots of information about various careers including:
- Strong Interest Inventory
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
- What people in various occupations actually do for a living
- Salary information
- Expected demand for certain occupations in the future
- Networking resources
- Self-exploration tools
UW CAREER CENTER ONLINE WORKSHOPS
ACT NOW TO ENHANCE YOUR RESUME!
The activities in which you choose to participate as a student can play an important role in
setting you apart from other job applicants. There are many things you can do while still
in college to enhance your resume:
- Get experience through internships and/or volunteer
work. There are many ways to find internships, including through the
Division of Spanish
and Portuguese Studies and the UW
- Get involved with a Student Organization.
Student organizations are an excellent venue for developing and demonstrating skills that
you'll want to include on your resume and job interviews such as leadership, planning and
implementing, teamwork, and organizational skills.
- Engage in research. Assist a professor or initiate your own project!
Check out the
UW Undergrad Research Program for more information.
- Meet with a UW Career Counselor
to work on your resume and design a plan to fill any "gaps".
- Take the 3-credit
Navigating Career Options (General Studies 350) course.
START NETWORKING TO CREATE PROFESSIONAL
Networking can help you explore career options and make connections that will likely help
with your future job (and internship) searches. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- The Husky Career Network
is a great place to start your networking. Sponsored by the UW Alumni Association, this
network includes over 5000 UW alums who want to help you with your career path.
- The Seattle Networking Guide is a website
that was designed specifically for the purpose of helping people who want to work in the
Seattle metropolitan area to network.
- Join a professional association to meet other people in your field(s) of interest.
- Consider doing some Informational Interviews
with people who are already working in occupations that you are considering.
- Attend the UW Career Center's workshop on "Making Connections".
100 & 200-Level FAQs
300& 400-Level FAQs
Opportunities for Students
Credit by Exam
The M.I.T. Program
Articles of Interest:
Making the Most of
as Career Exploration