Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

For Anne Marie Martin ’09, a summer internship opportunity provided her with more than just a typical, real-world work experience. The San Diego, Calif., native spent her summer interning abroad in Germany at SCHOTT, a company specializing in glass including architectural glass, kitchenware, lab equipment, components for appliances, televisions and computer screens, and some high tech appications such as fiber optics. She worked in the Personnel Marketing and Topic Development sector of the Human Resources Department. “I was given extremely interesting projects and I was able to take on a lot of responsibility,” says Anne Marie. “One of the most interesting projects I worked on was restructuring and writing the career section on the Web site. A coworker and I restructured the Web site to make it more appealing and user-friendly. Then he wrote it in German and I wrote it in English.”

Although for a few assignments Anne Marie was able to use her native English language skills, interning in Germany was not without the sometimes-stressful chore of mastering the German language. Anne Marie, who had previously spent one year studying abroad in Germany, states, “Language development was a major part of my internship. Since my study abroad experience five years ago, my language skills were not at the level where they once were.” At times, being surrounded by a language she had difficulty recalling was intimidating and overwhelming for Anne Marie. However, a combination of hard work and excellent preparation from Saint Mary’s aided her in overcoming the language barrier obstacle. “I committed myself, immersing myself completely in the language and culture. I read German newspapers, watched German TV, and listened to German music,” she says.

Anne Marie names Professor Marianne Hahn of the Department of Modern Languages as an excellent resource. She says of her German language mentor, “Since I was a freshman, Frau Hahn has been there for me every step of the way. The German language and cultural skills that I learned in her class provided me the passion and skill set to work on an international level. Without the language skills, especially in writing, which I received from Frau Hahn’s German class, my internship would not have been as successful.”

Anne Marie, who will graduate in December of 2009, is “currently seeking employment with companies that offer International Development Programs, specifically in International Human Resources and Marketing.” This may sound like a gigantic undertaking for the business administration major, but thanks to Saint Mary’s, Anne Marie has confidence in her plans. “Because Saint Mary’s College provided me with a supportive and well-rounded educational experience,” she says, “I feel that I am ready to take on the corporate world at an international level.”

—Marie Elizabeth Ulliman '10