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Careers with Languages

What can you do with a degree in Languages?

Getting a degree in languages means that you can communicate intra-, inter-, and trans-culturally, that you are adaptable to different environments, that you are sensitive to diversity, that you are flexible and adaptable, that you can think critically. In short, you possess the type of soft skills that are sought after and essential in many professions. While there are the obvious jobs–translator, interpreter, journalist, teacher, doctor/nurse, lawyer, anything travel and tourism-related, immigration/customs work, etc.–those skills can land you jobs that often are not obvious choices. These functional transferable skills combined with specific content knowledge are usable and marketable in a broad span of occupational settings. Although special knowledge of specific subject matter is necessary for certain occupational settings, not all employment settings require specialization. Also consider this: acquiring and developing specific job skills often happens on the job as it is. Therefore, college is an excellent place to acquire language skills that may be harder to acquire once you are on the job.

Because conceivably the options are limitless it is neither possible nor meaningful to attempt a listing or giving specific details here. Please visit the Career Services Center and use their wide ranging services. Here is some info from Student Affairs/Office of Advising.

Are you a Georgia Southern alum with a degree (and career) in foreign languages? If so, please contact the department and let us know what you are doing with your foreign language skills.

Alumni Profiles

Chloé McLellan

Major: Bachelor of Arts, Modern Languages: French
Career: Flight Attendant for Spirit Airlines

Through studying French at Georgia Southern University, I was granted opportunities to learn and grow that have shaped who I am today. Working in the airline industry, being bilingual has proven to be extremely beneficial. From French passengers exploring the United States, Central and South America, and the Caribbean to Haitian passengers on flights back home, speaking French allows me to help make traveling an enjoyable experience for those who may not speak English fluently. As a student, I was fortunate enough to be able to study abroad in France twice. These opportunities sparked a love of travel that I am now lucky enough to do on a daily basis. Getting the chance to be a foreigner in an unfamiliar country taught me the importance of patience, tolerance, and independence. I learned first hand that we are all much more alike than we are different, regardless of race or religion. I am extremely grateful to my French professors, who served as influential mentors throughout my time at Georgia Southern. They prepared me for where I am today by encouraging my curiosity to explore, teaching me how to effectively communicate with target audiences with confidence, and encouraging me to embrace cultural differences.


Madison Stewart

Degree: Bachelor of Arts, Modern Languages – Arabic; Bachelor of Arts, International Studies – Security & Diplomacy; Minor in Military Science
Career: Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in May 2018 and currently attends Flight School at Fort Rucker, AL.

It may seem out of the ordinary that an Arabic language and International Studies major decided to pursue a career in Aviation. While not the most obvious path, it is one that’s opened many doors for me. My foreign language education not only assisted me in getting into Flight School, but it’s connected me to the Aviation community as a whole. People from countries around the world come to Fort Rucker to learn to fly helicopters. I’ve met several international and U.S. Army aviators with similar academic and foreign language backgrounds, trained in school and also by the Army. Their stories and careers serve as a huge inspiration for my own career goals. I am excited for the prospects of continuing my Arabic language education in conjunction with advancing my career as an Army Officer.


Spencer Martin Govea

Major: Bachelor of Arts, Modern Languages – Spanish; Master of Arts, Spanish Language and Literature
Career: Currently work for Bridgestone Americas, Inc. as the Business Planning Manager for the Corporate Procurement department.

Receiving two degrees from CLASS prepared me for the corporate world in many ways. First, being bilingual is a huge advantage when working for a global company. I use Spanish every single day in my job while interacting with our teammates in many countries across Latin America. I have even learned enough Portuguese to be able to communicate effectively with our Brazil team. Second, my research skills and ability to interpret ideas and summarize have been extremely useful. A big part of my job is researching issues and pulling information into reports that are sent to company Executives. I have to be able to summarize efficiently while still including enough details and examples for complete understanding. This wouldn’t have been possible without learning how to research, how to write papers, and how to formulate your words according to your target audience. THANK YOU to all of my professors who prepared me for where I am today!


Ansley Callan

Major: English and Spanish double major
Career: Legal Counsel, Volvo Group North America

Georgia Southern prepared me for success in law school and my legal career by providing me with intellectual and academic challenges that required me to think critically and manage my time wisely. Thanks to Georgia Southern’s dual enrollment program and opportunities such as summer semesters, I was able to graduate with a double major at age 20.


Danielle B. Barefoot

CLASS majors: History and Modern Languages (Spanish), University Honors Program, cum laude
Career: Ph.D. Candidate in History (Latin America emphasis, minors in World History and Higher Education), currently completing dissertation research as a 2017-18 Fulbright Scholar.

Georgia Southern offered a rigorous, mentally stimulating education that prepared me for doctoral studies and laid the groundwork for my career as a historian. I pursued a double major in History and Modern Languages (Spanish) that I use daily in my studies, teaching, and research. Two especially memorable experiences were the language intensive Segovia Study Abroad program and completing my undergraduate honors thesis on the Lost Generation of World War I.


Cody Turner

Major: Bachelor of Arts – Modern Languages – Chinese

I started learning Chinese in the Fall of 2016. I immediately fell in love with it. I ended up completely changing my major from geology to Chinese because I knew that I could go farther with it, although I completely underestimated how far it would take me. I ended up completing the entire Chinese course in roughly two years and graduated in the Fall of 2018. I was the first ever graduate from Georgia Southern with a major in Chinese. I do need to send out a big thank you to my professors Zuotang Zhang, Ru Li, Yanjie Pang and Juan Zhao for aiding me along in my journey. I am now an English Professor at North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power in Zhengzhou, Henan. My journey is far from over, but without Chinese, I don’t believe I would be where I am today.


Jodi Ogden

Major: BA in Spanish / MA in Spanish
Career: High School Spanish Teacher / Foreign Language Department Chair (and SGA Sponsor, EF Coordinator, New Teacher Mentor, and Junior Class Sponsor)

My professors at Georgia Southern were instrumental in my preparation to become an engaging teacher and an effective leader. They not only focused on my academic success but also took the time to focus on me as a person and helped me develop the qualities that I needed to effectively lead my department. I can genuinely say that I would not be the person that I am without the training that select professors such as Leticia McGrath, David Alley, Michael McGrath, and Jorge Suazo, gave me in the Foreign Language Department.


Jordan Howard

Degree: B.S. in International Trade, Minor in German; Currently an M.S. in Business Analytics Candidate at UT – Dallas
Career: Data & Reporting Analyst at Briggs Equipment

After graduating in May of 2017, I began an internship at Briggs Equipment’s Atlanta office for the summer and was relocated to our corporate office in Dallas, Texas, shortly thereafter. Although I am an IT (Information Technology, not International Trade) professional, I must give some credit to my knowledge of the German language and the Foreign Language Department’s German Language faculty for the successes I have had as an employee at Briggs. Interestingly, I have found that the approaches taught by my German professors can be applied to working with programming/query languages I use for retrieving and analyzing data. Ultimately, knowing the syntax and being a continuous learner are key. I am also fortunate to travel and work with our domestic and international locations. These opportunities frequently allow me the chance to step out of my comfort zone, which is something that I realized through learning a foreign language is a great opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Last updated: 7/6/2021