Student Spotlight: Sara Koeck

Submitted by Michael Neininger on
Sara Koeck

your name: Sara Koeck
Class of 2019
your hometown: Vienna, Austria

your favorite German-language text/author: Kerstin Gier

when did you know that you wanted to major in German Studies?
I think what drew me to German was my desire to get more formal education in a language I grew up speaking. Since I had been in the US for so long, my German speaking was limited to my family. Once I took a class in the department, mostly just for fun, I ended up staying in majoring in German because I really enjoyed the people in the department both students and faculty.

what did you like most about the program?
My favorite thing about the department was getting to take the classes that were very specific to different topics, such as Sympathy for the Devil or the course on evil twins and doppelgängers.

what interested you most within the field of German Studies (here you can talk about any special project(s) you worked on or particular interests you developed as German Studies major)?
My favorite part was getting so involved with the department through German club and the ambassador program. I really enjoy meeting people, and this gave me an opportunity to give back to the department. It also made it very clear to me that I enjoy working with different people and that I want to continue doing so in my career.

in the professional MS program you are completing this year, how did you cope with the challenges of online teaching?
The main thing that has gotten me through doing most of my MS program online is just remembering to take breaks. I think it's easier to get super sucked into the work when everything is done from home, but I try to remember to just take a step back, go outside, read something for fun, or just relax. Obviously online school is not my favorite thing, but I think I am still fortunate to be able to complete my degree without any major hurdles.

what did you miss most in the online environment?
I really miss just sitting on campus and doing my work there. It was always really nice to see people that you know and just have a nice chat for a while or grab a quick coffee.

tell us about your study experiences after graduation and what lies beyond UW?
I went immediately from my BA in German and International studies to my MS in Human Centered Design & Engineering. Once I graduate in June, I will be ready to enter the workforce as a User Experience Researcher.

any advice that you might have for new majors?
Stick with it! Even though my MS program has led me in a very different direction than just German, the things I learned in this major have helped me in numerous projects when it comes to accounting for language or cultural differences. Languages help you gain a different perspective on the world and present you with opportunities you may not have even considered yet!