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Germanics Hosts Winter 2016 Mentoring Lunch for Undergraduate Students

Submitted by Stephanie N. Welch on March 2, 2016 - 4:05pm
UW German Studies Undergrads mentoring lunch
Left to right: Gabe Verdugo, Christine Billing, Samantha Romanelli, Dylan Hundley, Esther Purcell, and Charles Woldorff

We are very happy to announce another enjoyable “mentoring lunch” with a Germanics alum and current majors. On February 22, 2016, Gabe Verdugo (class of 2008) joined four students to chat over sandwiches in the UW Club. Gabe currently works for a prestigious law firm here in Seattle that works to protect consumers from corporate malfeasance. The firm is currently involved in the class action litigation about Volkswagen’s diesel emissions, and has even been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. You can read more about Gabe’s previous career here. Gabe shared amusing stories about his experiences at UW and abroad, and gave helpful advice about navigating a post-graduate world with the skills acquired in German Studies.

Present were four of our bright young seniors and juniors: Christine Billing, Dylan Hundley, Esther Purcell, Samantha Romanelli, and Charles Woldorff. They all expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to learn from one another’s experiences and ideas afterwards.

Gabe: “It was great to reconnect with the department and share with current students how my background in German has helped me in my legal career. I also enjoyed learning about the students’ diverse interests and upcoming study abroad trips—which were a pivotal and exciting part of my education.”

Charles: “I am obtaining a degree in Economics as well as German, but while I really enjoy my German classes (and in fact generally more so than my Econ ones), what I really want to pursue after college is a career in economics, and I was not exactly sure how my German degree could help me with this. So I found it very interesting to hear Gabe's take, who did not pursue a career with the language. And specifically what stuck with me was the effect that studying German had on his reading and writing, and how it taught him to follow and understand the flow of texts better (if I am remembering him correctly), which is undoubtedly helpful to a career in Law. I then realized how my reading and writing have also improved in the same way through studying German, in how it has forced me to focus on every part of a sentence! And now that I have realized this development in my own reading and writing, which are also undoubtedly useful to a career in economics, I am only more excited to develop them further through German.”

Christine: “One of the things Gabe said that really struck me was all of the writing practice that he got from his Germanics degree that he was able to put towards his career in law. It has just made me even more grateful that I've had the chance to get a liberal arts degree that pushes me to think in different ways and has also turned me into a better writer. That was the best thing I learned from the luncheon, other than the fact that Germanics students are all really great (though I already knew that) and that the food at the faculty club is really good.”

Samantha: “I found it interesting to learn the different routes that can be taken with a German major. It was inspiring to see someone someone find ways to use their degree in the real world outside of academia.”

Dylan: “I'm really grateful for the opportunity to meet with Gabe and the others to discuss what career options are out there for German majors. I would highly recommend my peers to do the same if given the chance!”

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