What SMU alumni say about how learning Russian has impacted their careers . . .
"Russian studies at SMU gave me the credentials to receive two fellowships to conduct two research projects with institutionalized children in Moscow and the neighboring towns. This experience significantly boosted my application for graduate schools and made me a more desirable graduate candidate. Now as a graduate student, I am applying for grants to conduct a cross-cultural research project in Russia. These opportunities would not have been possible without having had Russian language classes as an undergraduate."
Russian studies are becoming very important again as Russia is beginning to play a more important role in global economy and politics as well as reinvigorating its rich culture. Unfortunately, Russia and the US appear to head down a road that echoes the cold war mentality. The US will put more money into jobs and studies that increase knowledge about Russia to support its domestic security and international diplomacy. Knowing the Russian language and society will advantage many students seeking jobs in international business and policy."
"SMU would be well served to consider reinstating a major in Russian Studies and a minor in Russian language."
Drika Makariev, Ph.D. (Psychology) candidate 2010, University of California, Davis.
B.A. SMU, major in Psychology, minor in Philosophy, 2005
"I think that my Russian helped to distinguish me as a candidate for law school. It did help me to get my summer internship at a law firm after my first year of law school and it helped me to get my job, which has led to permanent employment after I graduate.
It is extremely important to study Russian now, especially because Russia is an important global presence and has a large percentage of the world's oil. Also, there have been some recent tensions between the U.S. and Russia, and I think it would be a substantial asset to be able to speak Russian . . . It is important to be immersed in the language to learn it."
Meghan Kreuziger, J.D. Candidate 2009, SMU Dedman School of Law
B.A. SMU, major in Accounting, minor in Russian Area Studies, 2006
"Having my Russian degree helped me to get my first job. It was also a factor in getting my current position as an attorney with Akin Gump and having worked in their Moscow office for oil-field related businesses and consulting services."
Burke McDavid, Attorney, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P.,
B.A. 1992, J.D. 1998
"It’s very important to study Russian nowadays for anybody who wants to work in or with the Former Soviet Union. With Central Asia being the new hotspot, I would think that it’s even more important to learn Russian -- not everyone speaks or teaches Uzbek or Turkmen, but almost everyone in those countries speaks Russian to some extent."
Andrea Kalan, Director of Academic Programs for Western Eurasia, IREX (International Research and Exchange Board), Kyiv office, Ukraine,
I wanted to work overseas. Russian allowed me to move to Russia with a US company. Living and working in Russia was the best experience in my professional life. It is important to study Russian for two reasons.
First, Russia has political importance far greater than other countries with similar economies. Russia will always be a strategic issue for the US . Second, Russia will continue its' economic integration with the rest of the world. That integration means greater economic opportunities for people who speak Russian. Currently, Russian is a great language to speak if you are in the oil business."
C.T. Johnson, Financial Consultant & CPA,
"I am now MBA student, but hopefully back to banking after that. Russian studies have helped me get a job. I do directly attribute my acceptance to business school to my job in Russia, which is due to my Russian studies. It was a very useful part of my professional life.
Russia is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. The shear size of the population and the natural resources in its borders will make it a very important country for years to come."
Will Turner, MBA student, Business School, Austin,
"I will always treasure my SMU days because of the Russian program. Thanks in large part to the help of my Russian Studies professors/mentors I easily gained admission to the best law schools in the US. Russian Studies degree was one of the best career decisions I ever made."
Camille Johnson, Founding Partner, Savrick Schumann Johnson & McGarr,