Tiffany McMearty, an international studies graduate with an emphasis in Spanish, is grateful to the Modern Languages Department for helping her spend a year in Argentina during her time at Southern.
The Modern Languages Department offers Spanish, French, Italian, German, and American Sign Language, and they are working toward adding non-western languages to the mix. They encourage students to spend a year abroad immersed in the language of their choice, and that is how McMearty was able to attend Universidad Adventista del Plata.
“Studying abroad was an amazing experience,” McMearty said. “I loved the culture, language, country, and the traveling. I believe that you learn the most in life when you are brave enough to step outside your comfort zone.”
When McMearty graduated with her international studies degree, she felt prepared to enter a variety of fields, and working at Southern’s Call Center had given her an interest in advancement and development.
“I discovered that a career in advancement included a lot of jobs that I found fun. Some of these are event planning, relationship building, fundraising, and graphic design,” she said.
McMearty now serves as the director of development at Southwestern Adventist University, and she feels like it is a dream come true. “I feel so fortunate to have found a career that I love so quickly. I find my job very rewarding because I am passionate about Adventist education.”
McMearty has found both the international studies degree from Southern and the time she spent in South America helpful in her career.
“The experience of learning Spanish taught me patience and understanding,” she said. “It also helps me identify with people whose first language is not English. I believe my experience abroad helps me relate to people of all cultures.”
—by Avery McKinney
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