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› Are you a bilingual professional looking to change or enhance your career? Listen to the voices of bilingual professionals as they tell their career stories in their own words:
Special Education Teacher
I help students with learning needs so that they will be equipped with the necessary skills as they grow older and learn to live independently in the future. I teach them basic math, reading and writing skills. I also help parents monitor their kids’ academic progress and work with other school staff in evaluating teaching instructions and materials.
I was born and raised in Asia and my parents are both Asians, so I consider myself very much Asian in terms of looks, beliefs and culture. Although English is the medium of instruction in my country of origin, Filipino is our primary language. Sometimes, people in school come to me for help and translations.
My grandparents immigrated to the US from Germany, and in our family a strong emphasis was placed on learning and using the language of our ancestors.
Most of my communication is done over e-mail or via the telephone. Being bilingual helps in these situations because the client is more easily able to portray what he or she needs in his or her native language. In this line of business, getting the instructions down the first time means everything!
I wrote a series of articles for a plumbing website once. The client contacted me via e-mail every few days to let me know what a great job I was doing and always seemed to refer to me as male. Because I felt that my gender was irrelevant to the content I was writing, I didn't correct him. He did request a telephone conference once, however, and my cover was blown! He didn't discriminate against me. As a matter of fact, I think he got a little kick out of the fact that he had a 30 year old single mother of three writing his plumbing articles!
I am male and have Middle Eastern roots. Yes, there are times when I faced discrimination but I feel that the only method to deal with the situation is to confront others politely. I remember one such incident while taking an immigration interview. The immigration officer was quite rude. I responded with a smiling face, which made the officer realize his mistake. Later, the officer helped me pass my immigration test.
I relish the opportunity to resolve issues that most others are reluctant to tackle. It gives me great satisfaction to exceed the expectations of my co-workers. I want others to understand that working in a call center does not mean taking calls only, as there are various other positions that have great advancement opportunities.
Very simply, I teach students another language. Sometimes it is simply about the mechanics, sometimes it is about having a conversation, sometimes it is dissecting a Spanish short story. One thing it is not, is boring.
Teaching Spanish is the perfect job for me. I get to share my enthusiasm for language, etymology, and cultures. I have found that my talent is for getting kids curious and excited about learning a language, and for helping those who think they just can't get it, to get it.
Students' success is my success. When I get to write a recommendation for a former student to an honors Spanish program in college, I am reminded of the great and lasting benefits of what I do and it makes getting up and going to work very much worth it.
I was born and raised in Romania, a country located in Eastern Europe, and my mother tongue is Romanian, a distinct Romance language similar to Italian. I live in New York, where my unique background and my accent did not stand out too much and did not make me a target for discrimination. I found out, however, that getting my foot in the door with employers was harder due to my not being as articulate as my American competitors.
I manage the Renewals and Certificates Department in my firm, which is currently comprised of paralegals, clerks and a secretary. We are responsible for the maintenance of our clients’ intellectual property rights worldwide, and to this end we work with attorneys, investigators and other professionals on every country and continent.
The international aspect of my job is very rewarding, along with the knowledge that I can bring a real and valuable, albeit indirect, contribution to the lives of so many people worldwide.
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