Student Spotlight: FSU Alumna Stephenie Reid By Emma Beyar
FSU Alumna Stephenie Reid
Student Spotlight: FSU Alumna Stephenie Reid
By Emma Beyar
What is your current job?
What interested you in studying Russian in the first place?
How did your Russian classes at FSU prepare you for your career now?
What was the process of receiving the Boren Scholarship?
When did you start applying?
How did you prepare and equip yourself to receive the scholarship?
Do you have any advice for students taking Russian now and hoping to work for the State Department in the future?
In general, I would definitely say that for any language study, consistency is extremely important. Unfortunately, it’s also probably one of the hardest things to do, especially if you have a secondary major or other responsibility. Also, I think it’s always important to recognize that not everyone is going to move at the same pace and not to get discouraged. Some students may pick up speaking a lot easier than understanding, while others may have a difficult time with grammar while easily remembering vocabulary. Everyone is different in how they learn, and language is no exception.
For Russian specifically, I would say that no word is unimportant. Countless times I thought “I probably won’t hear that word too much,” and then I heard it! Also, learning Russian songs was one of the best things I did while learning Russian. It helps with memorizing certain words and grammar, and when I went to Latvia my teachers were so excited when I could tell them that I not only knew a song they were talking about but could sing it as well! It’s a great learning tool but also helps to build rapport with native speakers while being a bit easier to incorporate into your everyday life for busy college students.
I can’t really comment on the State Department (the Air Force is Department of Defense) except from what I have learned from the Boren program but overall the State Department seems to be everybody’s dream career and the jobs are very competitive. Make sure to apply early to those jobs because they will most likely require a security clearance and those can take well over a year to process, so don’t wait until graduation to inquire and apply. Start early and be diligent! There are many resources and online job fairs to get help from State Department recruiters. Take advantage of any student internships as well, because that could help you get that security clearance early on or even lead to a future career.
Additionally, don’t think that federal agencies are only ever interested in recruiting Boren scholars, or that linguistically capable people are only recruited for Intelligence or translation jobs. They need people in all areas and are looking for people with all sorts of abilities and degrees, so if you’re interested in working in a government agency don’t ever think that you’re not a possible asset because chances are they could be looking for someone just like you!
Emma Beyar is a junior majoring in Russian and International Affairs.