After college, I plan to continue helping people learn languages with a company called Verbling and design or program websites as a freelancer.
My fascination with foreign languages fabricated itself after my second year learning Spanish in high school. The idea of creating friendships with people from around the world through a foreign language simply amazed me. Even as I approach my seventh year studying Spanish, meeting a new person fills me with a profusion of positive energy. Consequently, my passion for foreign languages opened the doors to friendships across the globe and a job working with the friendliest international community online.
I began working as an online tutor for Verbling in February 2012 after sending a cold email to the company and Skyping with Jake, one of the co-founders. A few months after I started, they asked me to hire six people and lead the team of 7. I felt extremely grateful for the opportunity to tutor people online because the company was paying me to do something I was passionate about- practice and help people learn languages.
9 months later, Verbing started offering live online language classes and I moved up to teach English. Since then, I have taught over 160 classes ranging in topics from how to cook pancakes to “show’n’tell.” Currently, I teach one to two classes per week, mostly focused on improving pronunciation.
This summer, I also participated in an unpaid month-long internship at Verbing headquarters in downtown San Francisco. I learned about social media management, programming, writing editorials, and customer support. However, above all, my internship taught me how the gears turn behind an internet-based startup company. After I graduate, I intend to remain a member of the Verbling team and support them in creating the best environment for learning a language online.
While my passion for languages is well-founded, my desire to design graphics and program websites as a career only recently blossomed after extensive online research and speaking to a few experts. Up until these past four months, the only experience I had creating graphics and building websites was from my two years of graphic design in high school and teaching myself using online resources such as Codecademy and Hack Design. Working in the field of technology or art piqued my interest but my lack of knowledge made me feel uncertain about pursuing a career in either of the two. However, after multiple conversations with professionals in both design and computer programming, I now feel certain this is the career path I want to take.
Furthermore, I am seizing many opportunities to learn about design and coding such as taking classes in design-related subjects and interning as an front-end developer here in Argentina. While studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester, I embraced the fortuity to take a photography and typography course at the University of Belgrano. About the same time as the start of the semester, I found an internship with a startup company called Proces Street that is building a web application to optimize efficiency by managing and organizing recurring tasks. I work on developing the front-end side of the website, or everything before the web application. Since I do not yet have a lot experience in the field, the internet is my greatest resource. With it, I have taught myself several skills such as customizing the layout of WordPress theme to adding a price comparison table to a web page. Thus, I will continue to grow and learn as a result of taking these courses and working as an intern, and use this knowledge and experience for my future career.
Hence once I graduate from the university, I aim to juggle two professions. In one hand, I will use my enthusiasm for foreign languages to help Verbling create the best online catalyst for language fluency. In the other hand, I will design and program websites as a freelancer. While the purpose of each differs, the internet will nonetheless serve me as the most useful tool in acquiring knowledge and in turn, achieving success in both occupations.