Our graduates pursue a wide variety of careers and opportunities. We recently reached out to our undergraduate alumni for updates on their whereabouts and activities, and loved hearing what they shared!
Rachel Schneider has accepted an offer from Brandeis University to begin a master's program in anthropology in fall 2018, after spending this past year working at a local museum that included translating old marriage and baptism certificates from German.
Zixing (Rex) Li is currently pursuing a master's degree in computer science at UPenn.
Mike Glassmoyer has moved to Vermont, where he is working in tech sales and writing his first novel, which is about halfway finished. He doesn't really love the cold, but he does appreciate the calm, the fresh air, and the mountains.
Trinity Lopez is still in the St. Louis area, working at a civil engineering firm in Illinois. In the coming years, she hopes to take steps toward achieving a Professional Engineer's certification. In her off time, as well as playing soccer and tennis, I still try to find German movies and tv shows to watch, to stay familiar with the language.
Hal Matthews is living in Vienna, working as an English teaching assistant at two different high schools. The position is similar to a German ETA, but is different in that the program is organized by Fulbright, but funding exclusively by the Austrian government. The program is awesome and could be a good opportunity for any students who want to teach aborad, but might want to apply to something less competitive than Fulbright Germany. More information can be found here: https://www.usta-austria.at
Gabe Conradi is currently in New York city, working at Uber ATC doing mapping, autonomy, and safety work as a staff engineer in the site reliability engineering group.
Jacob DeHovitz says "I'm currently working at Princeton University as a chemistry graduate student in Dr. Erik Sorensen's lab. I've actually met many Germans and have been able to practice my speaking skills a lot!"
Lisa Herbert is currently working on her PhD in Marine Biogeochemistry at Stony Brook University, New York. Her research involves collaboration with colleagues in Germany, so she makes good use of the German language skills she learned through her German major. She hopes to finish her PhD in 2019 and continue on to a postdoctoral research position, possibly in Germany.
Elisabeth Housman graduated with her doctorate in physical therapy in May 2017.
Ryan Minett says "“I just finished my Masters in Euroculture at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and Georg-August Universität Göttingen. My thesis was on the end of the American century and the rise of European style transnational cooperation as the new global norm for international relations I also got my C1 certificate from the Goethe Institüt München back in 2015. Most recently, I’ve been doing the work to start a company to recruit American students to study at European universities. We're recruiting for full-time programs, not study abroad, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It's called Educate Eurself. If any students there are interested in continuing their education in Europe, we'd be happy to help them. We are focusing primarily on programs in English right now, as most Americans do not speak another language well enough to study in it, but we can help if students want to study in German or any other language.”
Diana Jack recently returned to Washington, DC after receiving her master's in international affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. She now works as a program coordinator with the Corporate Program at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Jordan Beck Wagner currently lives in Hamburg, Germany and is head of the English-speaking markets for an advertising startup. After graduating from WashU in 2013, she completed her master's in American Studies and Political Science at Universität Heidelberg. Her thesis focused on the perception of female political candidates in media outlets. After finishing her degree in March 2015, she held two internships at the U.S. Embassies in Croatia and Bulgaria. This influenced her decision to attend business school at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), where she studied International Business and Emerging Markets. Her thesis focused on the start-up scene in Bulgaria following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In August 2016, she moved to Hamburg to be with her boyfriend whom she met at a ball in Heidelberg, Germany. She plans on applying for permanent residency in summer 2018. You can follow along on Jordan's travels, expat woes/triumphs, and multicultural relationship on her blog "Wayfaring With Wagner" (www.wayfaringwithwagner.com).
Leah Marks says "Since last January, I've been teaching German at Pflugerville High School in Pflugerville, TX, a suburb of Austin. (Fun fact: Much of the TV show Friday Night Lights was shot at PHS.) I was sort of lost after my post-grad Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Hamburg, and I ended up moving to Austin and spending a couple of years writing for an Austin-based social media startup and then getting a MA in Advertising at UT Austin with the goal of becoming a copywriter. Advertising really wasn’t a good fit for me, but I’m so glad I did my Master’s because it lead me back to teaching (I TAed for a British literature course and really enjoyed being back in front of a classroom) and to German, my one true academic love.
I absolutely love being Frau Marks. I’m currently teaching German 1-3 (pre-AP) to 9th-12th graders, and I founded and sponsor Deutschklub, a club where kids learn about German culture through German media (aka an opportunity for me to expose the youth of Pflugerville to German cinema). In June 2019, I’m taking a group of students to Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. It’s going to be amazing—some of the kids have never even been outside of Texas. I also just married my WashU sweetheart (Derrick Jensen, BFA Printmaking, 2010) this fall, in Austin!"
John C. Witty has been studying since fall 2013 for a PhD in art history at Emory University. Only a few weeks ago, he passed his prospectus defense, and has been approved to begin a dissertation on 14th-century Venetian painting. The knowledge of German he refined as an undergraduate major at WashU continues to be an invaluable asset! Before starting his PhD, John worked at the National Gallery in Washington for one year. After John's year in DC, he completed an MA in art history at Williams College and held internships at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and the Williams College Museum of Art, while he was there. In Atlanta, John completed a research fellowship at the High Museum of Art, focusing on a series of early sixteenth-century panels attributed to Lorenzo Costa. John is currently applying for fellowships to fund a year of dissertation research based in Venice.
Daniel Barks is working at Beacon Press in Boston, going undercover with the English majors. He is in the production department, ushering final manuscripts through copy editing, proofreading, and printing. Not a whole lot of opportunity to flex his Sprachfähigkeiten, but there have been a couple of instances of proofreading backlist philosophical works for e-book conversion with long passages of quoted German material.
Jason Brown says "After graduating in 2009, with majors in German and international business, I went to work as a Marketing Specialist for Sabre Hospitality Solutions, an advertising agency based outside of Washington, DC. There, I provided digital marketing solutions for hotels and resorts and particularly enjoyed consulting with German clients. Determined to return to WashU, I found my way back in 2013 when I started the MBA program. Upon completion of the program, I stayed at WashU, working in the Graduate Programs Office at Olin Business School, and now serve as the Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions."
Thom Wall says he is "working as the featured juggling act on Cirque du Soleil's touring show 'Totem'. We're working in Brussels, Belgium, at the moment - soon to tour Spain for most of 2018. When I'm not juggling on stage, I enjoy speaking German with a few members of the cast, and am also working on writing a textbook about juggling technique. The Post Dispatch wrote a little story about me, which you can find here. I've been working for the company on and off for about four years, but only just signed a full-time contract."
Charlie Machan says "I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Virginia. After majoring in chemistry and German at WashU in 2008, I moved on to graduate school in chemistry at Northwestern. I completed my PhD in 2012 and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California San Diego from 2013 to 2016. I live in Charlottesville with my wife, Amanda, and our 4-month old daughter, Harriet. I still have to read old synthesis papers in German every one in awhile."
Brandon Krepel lives with his wife Allison (2008 BS/MS Engineering) and two young boys in St. Louis. He currently works as Director of Engineering for Audiovisual Systems at TSI Global.
Dan Daranciang completed his PhD at Stanford in 2012 and was offered a postdoc performing ultra fast x-ray experiments at the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchroton (DESY) in Hamburg. In the end, though, Dan decided to go to work at a photonics manufacturer, Thorlabs, and is presently in New Jersey. His company has several locations in Germany, and he frequently has the opportunity to collaborate with engineers there, who are generally impressed by his speaking/writing proficiency. He is also often asked to assist when a particularly tricky technical manual has been translated into English by someone less than fluent. Dan counts himself lucky to have been a part of the great department at WashU, and can only imagine that it has strengthened since his graduation in 2006.
Nickolai Detert is currently in year 2 of his doctorate as a Family Nurse Practitioner at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He is supported by his wife, Jenny Detert, MD, who is a pediatrician in Duke University Primary Care. Together, they have two sons: Ethan (4) and Alex (2), who keep them busy, when not working. Nickolai’s doctoral quality improvement project deals with PTSD in veterans who use civilian secondary care, and how to better identify and refer these patients for mental health services.
Martin Schilling has been living in Berlin for nearly two years, after a few years in Heidelberg. He is working as a project manager for a software company in the public transit and railway industry. This builds on the transportation-related planning work he was doing in Oakland.
Christina Wills says: “How nice to see a quick update from your department, including your request for alum whereabouts. For the past year, I’ve been on assignment with Boeing living and working in Berlin. It’s a far cry from my days studying 18th century German lit, but I feel as though my personal passion and professional interests have finally aligned. Since my time in STL, I completed a Fulbright teaching fellowship, earned two master’s degrees at the University of Washington (MA/MBA), and have worked for two Fortune 100 companies.
Here in Germany, I’m responsible for driving Boeing’s research and development projects utilizing publicly available funds, either at the state or federal level. As such, I work quite closely with the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie, academic institutions, as well as the German supply base to achieve our technology goals. It’s a complex assignment requiring the ability to act on the intersection of the political environment, technology advancements, as well as the shifting global aerospace supply chain.
This role would not have been open to me had I not been both fully proficient in German, as well as possessing the business acumen to work in ambiguous circumstances. I certainly credit my time at WashU, particularly in the German department, for letting me hone my German language and critical thinking skills in a safe and stimulating environment.
Side note – my husband, also a WashU alum (EN06), works here in Berlin for Amazon doing machine learning research at their Development Center. I’m proud to say he’s taking German lessons at the Goethe Institute, and he’s realizing what a challenging – but beautiful – language it is. For the sake of our happy home life, we decided it was best to have someone else give him language instruction! We rounded out the full German experience by moving here with our “Dackel,” Albert.”
Kevin Ard is now a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and an infectious disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston. Although he doesn't use German on a day-to-day basis in his work, he's married to a Norwegian, and the similarities between German and Norwegian come quite in handy at home!
Tavi Yehudai is living in Atlanta with his wife and two children. He is a partner at a healthcare-dedicated investment fund. Tavi is forever grateful for the education provided to him by Profs. Erlin, Tatlock, Schindler, and others, and the experience he had working in Germany through the business school was invaluable as well. He is saddened that his high school is doing away with their German language program because of lack of demand, and the private school his son attends in Atlanta doesn't offer it, nor do comparable schools in the area.