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Where We Are Now

What can you do with a degree in French? Many have asked this question. Let the members and Alumni of our French Department share their stories of using French in the real world and how they have been successful because of their language skills.

Kayla the Flight Attendant

After graduating with my master's in French literature at UH Manoa, I remember thinking, what next? My dream was to move to France, so I applied for the TAPIF program to teach English in Haut-Normandie. It was an amazing experience, and although I wanted to remain in France, it was not looking promising. But life takes interesting turns sometimes, and although it was not what I was expecting, last year I was given the opportunity to travel the world for my career! I have been working almost a year now as a flight attendant for United Airlines, and I can honestly say that it is the best job in the world for me! I believe that the experience that I gained from the French Master's program at UH helped me land this dream job, and I'm thankful that I can use my French with my customers and visit France now whenever I wish, for work and for pleasure. Merci UHM French department!

Lucie the Project Manager

I completed my MA in French language and literature, and then decided to pursue a career path in the translation industry. I am currently an executive project manager at one of the world’s largest translation companies. It’s a very busy job, and I have quite a bit of responsibility as my team specializes in the area of Life Sciences. We work on translations that are often very rushed and they are needed to help sick people. Most of our projects are intended for clinical research, to help develop new drugs.

I handle on average around 12 projects a day, each with a different scope and language pair. I follow very strict procedures to ensure the best quality for the client, and work on a close basis with translators around the world. Though sometimes my job can be very high pressured, I love the daily challenges which keep it very interesting. I am also able to use my knowledge of foreign languages, including French, during finalizations of projects. I love what I do every day, and when I leave my office, I often know I made a difference in somebody’s life. There are also continuous opportunities for career growth, as I can choose the areas that interest me and specialize. I would recommend this as a career to anyone who is interested in project management. Please feel free to reach if you’d like more information. I’d be more than happy to help you with the application process as well.

Hanna's experience teaching with TAPIF

Hanna Roman was a teaching assistant with the TAPIF in Tours, France, during the year 2006-2007.

"After completing my BA in French, this was a great opportunity to live and work in France and have an interesting international work experience. I was so nervous about living in another country and language, but in the end it was one of the best and most memorable times of my life. I learned so much about French education and culture, and made lots of friends from around the world.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do as a career, and the TAPIF gave me the chance to get real-life work experience while figuring out what I wanted to do next."

Melissa the Flight Attendant

I've always wanted to travel, and being a rather expensive habit, it was imperative to find some way to do so! Learning French and getting my French degree at UH enabled me to apply for a job as a flight attendant, at a time when people with multiple language abilities were and are the only people being hired. Now I've traveled four months of vacation to four different countries in the last year and I regularly go on work trips to places all over the world with my colleagues as well!

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