In this series, alumni of Esperia will tell about their jobs and career paths. This week, Geert Loer, Secretary of the board 2014-2015 will tell about his job at a software company!
Your studies should involve something you’re really interested in, but don’t have to dictate in which field you’ll be working after. For me, both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees (European Languages and Cultures – Spanish, and Applied Linguistics) mainly taught me to be critical of what I hear, to defend a difficult train of thoughts and to work hard for what I want to achieve.
These are all traits that I still use in my current job, where I work as a Service Manager for a software company. Together with about 100 people, I deliver software to most of the universities and universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands, and we make sure the people who work with this software (including students) are happy with it and with our service. This position doesn’t necessarily require skills in the field of linguistics, but it is expected that I know how my words come across whenever I speak to a department manager or faculty representative. For me, this is an essential part of linguistics, on which I even focused in my Master’s thesis. It also requires good writing and other communication skills, as I am the link between our organisation and the universities which use our software. Next to this, I make sure the quality of our software is up to the standards of the universities. And sometimes I sneakily correct a language error in our software; I tend to brag about this as it falls under the umbrella term ‘software development’, but thus far I haven’t impressed any of my software-developing colleagues with it yet…
One of the most surprising and rewarding things I encountered when I first started my job, is how uncommon it is for someone to have extensive knowledge about languages, cultures, their structures and their daily appearances. In the ELC program, or any other related program, you come across many people with the same interests and skills. This is great for discussions and to extend your comprehension of the topics which are offered. However, it doesn’t show how much you actually know until you find yourself in a job where your knowledge and effort are a positive contribution to the succes of your work environment.