FROM STUDY TO SKILLS
All academic programs at the UM help students develop valuable transferable skills. A concentration in Russian or Polish will allow you to attain proficiency in the language, acquire an understanding of the culture, and develop your knowledge of the civilization and history of a significant area of the world. Through course offerings in other Slavic languages and literatures, you will expand your learning to much of Eastern European culture. A concentration in Russian or Polish also provides opportunities for experiential learning abroad.
A second language acquisition in Slavic languages builds the central skills of speaking, writing, and reading another language along with related abilities, such as adapting to other cultures, analyzing information from diverse sources, and carrying out research projects. Skills and abilities acquired by concentrators in Russian or Polish are highlighted below.
Related fields include Germanic, History, Political Science, Economics, and Art History.
SKILLS AND ABILITIES
Writing / speaking another language
Understanding historical language change
Working as a member of a team
Writing clearly and accurately on complex issues
Interpreting information / data
Research / Project Development Skills
Using original sources
Evaluating research results
Developing cultural sensitivity
Understanding a culture through its literature
Acknowledging value systems
Adapting to / functioning in other cultures
Working with persons from other backgrounds
BUILDING YOUR SKILLS OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
Employers seek out individuals who can demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills, initiative, and a strong work ethic. Student organizations and campus employment offer valuable opportunities to add to the skills you are developing in your classes. Most concentrations sponsor specific student groups like an undergraduate organization or an honor society. Study abroad experiences are particularly helpful to foreign language concentrators to improve proficiency and gain intercultural skills. Other options include off-campus employment or volunteering in the community. Finally, a summer internship may be the best way of all to test out a career field and develop marketable skills.
FROM SKILLS TO CAREER
In our increasingly global world, the skills you will gain as a Russian or Polish concentrator will prepare you to succeed in a number of fields. Your familiarity with one of Europe’s major cultural areas is important in preparing not only for the new economies emerging in Eastern Europe, but also for work in any cultural context different from our own.
With their analytical and communication skills, Russian and Polish concentrators have discovered opportunities in a wide range of careers, such as research, business, law or government. In addition, Slavic concentrators may choose to continue their education in graduate or professional school. Below is a list of career fields compiled from follow-up studies of Slavic graduates.
Publisher’s sales representative
International marketing consultant
K-12 teacher / college instructor
Journalist / correspondent
National security linguist
Commerce department attaché
Director, public affairs
Law enforcement agent
Trade negotiations lawyer
Research / Project Development Skills
World Health Organization researcher
Foundation program manager
Theater company manager
Foreign Service officer
International trade consultant
Travel agent / tour guide
Adoption agency caseworker
Director, study abroad program
Director, exchange program
Liaison to overseas plant management
= Further Study Required
For more career information, see O*Net at http://online.onetcenter.org/
The concentration in Polish or Russian requires nearly 30 credits beyond second-year language proficiency, including courses in reading and speaking, literature, history, politics, film, and culture.
All minors require 16 credits, except CLEE, which requires 15. Courses may be chosen from a variety of topics such as literature, history, politics, film, and culture.
Students can receive credit towards these degrees for study abroad or summer internships. Please contact the department for further details.
Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures
3040 Modern Languages Building
Newnan Advising Center
1255 Angell Hall
NEXT STEPS / RESOURCES
To begin exploring opportunities for overseas study and work, go to: http://lsa.umich.edu/cgis/ or
To read the Slavic Department’s newsletter, featuring student and alumni experiences, and more:
To begin connecting to professionals in fields that interest you, create your own LinkedIn account:
To identify internships or job opportunities, visit Handshake: https://careercenter.umich.edu/article/handshake
Maize Pages list hundreds of student organizations to get involved in: http://studentorgs.umich.edu/maize
On campus jobs (work-study and non work-study jobs) are listed at:
The Career Guide series was developed by the University of Michigan Career Center, Division of Student Affairs, in cooperation with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. ©2013 Regents of the University of Michigan