Department of English and Modern Languages

Our French Alumni

“Learning French at MWSU was a wonderful experience. Professionally, understanding how languages work helped me get a job and quickly learn Natural Language Processing used in Virtual Assistants. On a personal level, speaking French has enriched my life. My husband and I were able to live and travel abroad, making new friends and getting to know the area without feeling like perpetual tourists.”

–Rachael (Needham) Green, BA French, MA from Université Montpellier III. Project Manager for Creative Virtual, USA.

“Learning another language not only expands your capacity for communication, it changes the way that you think and how you interact with the world. In studying French, I developed the ability to accurately capture meaning in business communications, increased my cultural sensitivity and empathy towards others, and enhanced my problem-solving and creative thinking skills. These skills are vital to every professional. No matter what field you work in, learning a foreign language gives you a competitive advantage.”

– Liz Armstrong, BA French, MA Design Management. IT Project Manager at DST Systems, Inc.

Plans to work within the field of User Experience Design

 “I started out taking French to fulfill a requirement for my other major. However, I found myself staying long after my prerequisites were completed because the classes were interesting, challenging and small enough to be able to progress in the language. After graduation, I taught English in France and then did my Master’s at a French university. I use the language skills I learned at MWSU on a daily basis. Other skills from my French classes have also helped me immensely: critical thinking, researching, and generally seeing the world through the filter of another language and culture. In addition to the small class sizes, there were cultural activities, speakers, and exchange programs to make for a well-rounded program. English may be a lingua franca, but from first-hand experience, I can promise you that knowing another language gives you an edge in the job market. 

–Rachel Euchner, BA French, Journalism, MA On-line Translation, Université Paris VIII. Works in Paris as a community manager/translator for a French internet start-up.

“I studied French at Missouri Western, and spent much of that time struggling to choose a career path that I felt suited me. As I immersed myself in the French language and culture during a semester in France, I came to realize that languages truly open doors to new worlds. Each new word learned led me to new people, places, and insights into the culture of a country that, after only a few months, no longer felt ‘foreign.’ My time abroad changed everything: I came back with a dramatically altered worldview and a certainty that, no matter what career path I chose, languages would be my focus.”

–Brean Reiley, BA French, Spanish. Plans graduate study.

“Studying French at Missouri Western has helped me learn so much of my own (English) grammar and I came to realize how important it is to know other languages, especially those that are the basis of my own. As a teacher, I try to instill a sense of wonder through my stories of my days in Annecy, France. I gained confidence in my abilities; not only in French, but in everything I do as a result of my time spent abroad. Besides teaching, knowing French has allowed me to be able to read two of my favorite authors, Hugo and Dumas, and to translate the meanings of their words for myself.  I’ve even gained enough courage to write a little poetry of my own in French!  French has become very important to both my personal and professional life.”

–Pamela (Mace) Swift, BA French, Minor German, B.S.E. Secondary Education, M.S. Education, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. Teaches French and German.

“Studying French provides you with several benefits. Not only do you become more aware about the world and other cultures, but you are also better prepared to compete in the job market as the effect of globalization increases. Proficiency in a foreign language can greatly enhance your resume and make you more marketable when searching for a job. While French allows you to learn more about history, literature, and the English language itself, learning to speak French also opens the world up to you, as you then become able to communicate more effectively with the numerous francophone countries.”

–Alyssa Smith, BA French, BS Business. Doctoral student in French at the University of Missouri.

“Speaking another language like French sets you apart from others. Today many people have degrees from accredited colleges, but when you enter the work force, you have something that other prospective employees do not have. That’s the professional side of learning French, but personally I love the sophistication of the language and experiencing French literature and art the way the French do.”

–Bryana Harrah, BA French, BS Criminal Justice, MA Criminal Justice. Civilian specialist for Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. Plans to work in intelligence for the U.S. government.

“Studying French was the best decision that I ever made. French is used in many countries and has come in handy during my travels. Working at Cleveland Clinic, I meet people from all over the world. I use French at least once a week with patients from other countries. I’m so glad I learned French.”

–Melina (Paden) Grier, BA French. Chaplin Resident at Cleveland Clinic.

“I studied French at MWSU because I love traveling and learning about different cultures. I was very fortunate to have gotten the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Angers, France for a semester. Besides the study abroad program, I really loved the interaction between the professors and students in the classroom. Studying French has contributed to the person I am today by making me aware of cultural differences and helping me stand out from other applicants in this competitive job market.”

–Tamir Batchuluun, Registered Nurse, Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Neonatal Intensive Care.

“Learning French was one of the best experiences of my life.  I felt this French program prepared me for real-world interactions and made my study abroad a life-changing experience. Knowing another language has opened so many doors and helped me develop friendships around the globe. I still use this valuable tool today and encourage everyone who has the chance to learn a new language and travel abroad.”

–Kate Morehead, B.S.E. French, M.A.S. TESOL. Employed by the University of Texas at Austin in the Division of Student Affairs, Texas Parents Association.  Plans to work in higher education.

“Knowing another language can open doors in your career and personal life and take you to new and exciting places! When you familiarize yourself with another culture’s way of life, it gives you fresh, new perspectives on various topics such as politics, religion, and relationships. The more you learn about others, the more you learn about yourself, your dreams, goals, limits, and boundaries.”

–Amanda (Burris) Carr

“Studying French at MWSU is one of the best decisions I made regarding my education, although I didn’t realize it at the time. The small class sizes allow students to get to know the faculty and never risk being just a faceless student in the program. The classrooms are hands-on with enough variety to engage a multitude of learning styles. While learning any language can prove to be a very humbling experience, the French professors are not intimidating, but rather encouraging. Learning French challenged me to think more about my own language which will prove to be beneficial with any chosen career path.”

–Stacey Weidemann, serving in the Peace Corps in Albania, plans graduate study.

“Studying French at Missouri Western has really been one of the best decisions I have ever made. You learn not just the language, but about the world around you as well. My second time abroad was really the true test of immersion, speaking only French to students from around the world. It was certainly challenging, but something that helped me mature as a person as well. Without the opportunities that I had at Western, I wouldn’t have been nearly as happy with a career path. One day, I hope to live abroad in a French speaking country to further my career.” 

–Donald Hughes, B.S.E. French and Physical Education. Pursuing a Masters in TESOL at Missouri Western State University.

“When I decided to take French in high school, I didn’t have a practical use in mind. Like many people, I thought other foreign languages had the potential to be more useful in the job market. It wasn’t until I was already hooked on the language and culture that I realized just how many people in the world speak French. Even while working part-time at a grocery store, I met people who spoke French as their native language. Some were from Africa; others were from Switzerland, but each person I met was thrilled to meet someone who spoke their language. It reminded me just how magical speaking foreign languages can be. It is like being part of a secret club that allows you to make an instant connection with complete strangers. It is diplomacy at its best, and in an international world there is nothing more useful than the tolerance and appreciation for diversity that comes with learning another language.”

–Caitlin McKinney, B.S.E French and English Education. French teacher at Ray-Pec High School.