The Foreign Language Fellows program organizes a Languages in Life series, which invites alumni to campus that have used or currently use foreign language(s) in their careers. Rebecca Salmaso ’08 majored in Hispanic studies and minored in economics at the College. After graduating, she engaged in business operations and global program management at EMC, a company active in cloud computing, big data, IT security and data storage. As the liaison for the Latin America team, Rebecca used her Spanish and learned Portuguese while traveling to Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Chile. She currently works as a sales enablement manager at TripAdvisor.
When she visited campus, Rebecca had few tidbits of wisdom to share for those interesting in business careers:
When at Connecticut College
Embrace challenging academic subjects. Though frustrating at times, the process of problem-solving and figuring out how to learn complex information is an incredibly useful and applicable skill in the workforce.
Learn how to intelligently ask for help as an undergraduate student. Understanding how to ask insightful questions is an essential part of successfully performing one’s work at a job.
Get involved in extracurricular activities that serve your current and future interests. Also, get to know New London by working or volunteering in the city.
I’ll admit it: I have a sweet tooth. Rather, I have sweet teeth. Fortunately, I have located many of the spots on campus with free candy. So, if you’re like me, here is a list of where to go to get your sugar fix. These places also happen to offer a lot more than candy.
1. The Academic Resource Center (ARC) To be honest, the services here are far better than the mint candies. The ARC provides academic support to students such as tutoring, time management strategies, study skills—and, most recently, stress relief goodie bags! I meet with Sam Siegel-Wallace weekly to devise a plan of action to successfully complete my various assignments as a senior.
2. The Office of Career and Professional Development Located across the street from the academic buildings, the office helps students make their next steps after college. Counselors in the office advise students on choosing their courses of study, searching for internships and jobs, preparing for interviews, applying to graduate school and more! I meet with my wonderful advisor, Dot Wang, a couple of times per month to discuss and approach my career and life goals.
Pursuing an honors thesis simultaneously thrills and terrifies me. The English Department requires students who choose to conduct a thesis to develop an idea for a study, submit a proposal for review by the department, write at least 50 pages on the topic, and present on the topic at the end of the year for the campus community. Although the College does not require all seniors to conduct honors theses, I decided to do one in order to delve into a topic of particular interest to me.
I peeked out of my window Friday morning to a crisp and sunny fall day — perfect running weather. Having run on Conn’s cross country team for two years, I know many of the wonderful trails around campus. Mamacoke Island, a 40-acre island on the Thames River, contains one of my favorite trails.
I set out from my dorm, lumbering downhill towards the Athletic Center. At the Athletic Center, I veered left onto a wooded trail towards Mamacoke. The trail comes to a marsh that leads to the island. Dashing across the brownish yellow-colored squishiness with mud splashing my ankles, I arrived to the island.
I've returned to Conn for my senior year after studying abroad in Paris, France, for seven months. Although happy to return, I did not want to leave my Parisian lifestyle completely behind. Luckily, I have been able to keep French language and culture in my life through the Language Fellows program.
Every language department (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish) has two language fellows. As a French language fellow, I help to plan French-speaking events on campus. On Friday, I posted flyers advertising the upcoming French film festival in students’ mailboxes. Then, dodging raindrops, I dashed to a French department meeting with about 10 others students of French. At the meeting, Professor Nathalie Etoke, the chair of the French Department, encouraged us students to take initiative in order to sustain an active and well-connected French department. “I want YOU to guide ME," she told us.