Tag: European Commission

‘I wouldn’t have been offered the role without French’

And last but not least in this little flurry of updates, a post from Henry who graduated with a BA Hons in French and Spanish in 2016:

2019 Caffarena pic‘Life after Graduation is still going well and a lot has happened since our last correspondence… On completion of my traineeship at the European Commission (I believe that is where I was last time we spoke) I faced a big question. Et maintenant, je fais quoi?

Fast forward 1.5 years – I’m now working for a company called Gartner, an American IT and advisory company, as a Leadership Client Manager. The name is fancier than the job itself but I love it. I work as a hybrid consultant / account manager looking after a very specialised portfolio of clients who are mostly based in France. So yes, French is still proving to be useful and in fact I would have not been offered the role without it.

2019 Caffarena Miama pic III believe I may have mentioned this before but..  if there are any undergraduates reading this post, here’s some advice – Enjoy University, learn as much as you can and know that French or any other language you are studying and investing your time in to learn, will support you when you’ve graduated.

Personally, French has been a huge enabler in my professional career so far. The time you invest now will help you in the future.’

Many thanks to Henry for sending this great update – we’re delighted to hear life is treating you well and wish you all the best in your career over the coming months and years! We should also explain that Henry’s work has recently taken him to Miami so we thought this was a great excuse to be able to post some very sunny pictures he sent…

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“Languages Open Doors”: From Stirling to a Traineeship in Brussels

A little flurry of blog posts will appear over the next couple of days as various plans and projects involving staff and students in French at Stirling take shape and I’m very pleased to be able to start the ball rolling with another blog post by one of our graduates from last year. Henry Caffarena finished his BA Hons in French and Spanish this time last year and has very kindly taken the time to send us this update on where life and languages have taken him since then:

2017 Henry Caffarena photo“I have nothing but good things to say about my time studying French at Stirling. I would say that the course is both diverse and challenging as it offers an ample approach to the language itself and its cultural spread across the globe. Furthermore, I also found the course very welcoming to students with different levels. Overall, it helped me improve my French and has definitely contributed to my success in landing a traineeship at the European Commission in Brussels, Europe’s political capital where speaking French is essential.

So far, these past 2 months at Commission have been a time of learning and networking. I am working in a multicultural and multilingual environment and everyday is different and challenging. Unfortunately, I can’t go into much detail about what I do because of confidentiality clauses and boring blabla, but all in all, I am happy. Speaking languages is a massive +1 when you are applying for jobs. Recruiters know they can train people to do the job in a few weeks/months, but teaching you a language that is vital to their business? That’s a different story.

At present, I am halfway through my Traineeship and have recently been interviewing with Gartner, the information technology research and advisory company. I know what you must be thinking – take a chill pill. To be honest, it was my intention to take a little break from work after my traineeship but they were looking for graduates who spoke French and I couldn’t resist. Hopefully I will get a call with good news soon. I guess what I’m trying to say is that languages open doors and there are doors all over the world! French is a very important language spoken in many different places and there are plenty of organisations in the private and public sector in need of your skills.”

Best of luck to Henry for the Gartner interview – keep us posted! – and thanks again for taking the time to send this post.