Amelia Shroyer, Class of 2009
When Amelia Shroyer graduated from Southwestern in 2009, she had no idea what her career would look like. As a political science major, she tried at first to find a job in a campaign office, but eventually settled for an administrative job. There, she fell into marketing and discovered a way to use writing skills in her profession. Fed up with living back home, she decided to take a risk and move abroad in 2011. The easiest way to do it at the time was to become an au pair. Her French minor had opened the door.
“What I really appreciated about my experience as a French minor was the opportunity to consistently use my linguistic skills and start to think critically in a second language. After studying abroad, my advanced French courses gave me an opportunity to regularly work on my fluency. It was also really interesting to understand ideas in a second language. There are nuances with translations that can dilute the meaning of a text; I really valued my opportunities to understand materials in the language in which it was written. Southwestern’s academics absolutely strengthened my skills in this area, from writing and analysis to public speaking and teamwork.“
After au pairing during the French 2011-2012 academic school year, Amelia decided her European adventure wasn’t over and moved to Berlin, where she has become involved in the thriving “Silicon Allee” startup scene. She volunteered for Social Media Week Berlin in 2012 and was a member of the conference’s advisory board in 2013. Without French, though, none of that would have been possible. “I actually got started in Berlin doing French translations for a company website. It allowed me to save up enough money to apply for a Marketing freelance visa.” After doing translations for TED talks for over 4 years, she felt comfortable enough with her language skills to get to work.
Amelia credits her professors and advisors at Southwestern for making her realize she has options. “SU professors really gave me a lot of guidance and boosted my confidence. From being a sounding board for new ideas to helping me network, I formed great relationships with a few of my professors with whom I still keep in contact. For example, I got to meet up with Dr. Mathieu in Paris on the way to moving to Berlin. Getting to talk to him before such a big decision definitely gave me the confidence and support I needed to make the jump. My experiences at Southwestern informed my decisions by opening my mind, broadening my worldview, and challenging my perceptions. It is really that confidence that led me to move abroad with pretty much no plan and somehow still figure it out and land on my feet.”
After struggling with uncertainty about her career path, Amelia realized that writing was her calling. “I’m working in SEO and social media marketing, which ultimately involves a lot of writing and a fair amount of research. It’s great too because I have a lot of French coworkers, so I’m still using my language skills. Of course, learning another language already (French) has helped me a lot with learning German. As a pet project in my spare time I launched a feminist blog and am a contributing writer for another feminist online magazine. Writing is what I love, and marketing gives me an opportunity to do that every day.”
Amelia currently lives in Berlin and still gets to speak French every day.