Amanda Jordan, B.A. 2013

Proposal Manager, Writing; Worldwide Clinical Trials – Raleigh, NC

2013 Major: Spanish, Latin American and Latino/a Studies, and Visual Studies

How has being a graduate from Duke's Romance Studies Department helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"To begin, it allowed me to study abroad through the Duke in Madrid program and to spend a subsequent semester in Spain through a UNC program in Sevilla. It helped me understand the world differently and strengthen my communication skills. I went on to obtain my PhD in literary and cultural studies at USC, and my focus there was on Spanish and Latin American culture (I wrote an art historical dissertation on a contemporary Mexican artist). That was formative for my critical thinking and communication skills, which would not be what they are if that seed wasn’t planted in the Romance Studies Department.

"I also majored in Visual Studies. I wrote a thesis for this degree but not for Romance Studies. This course of study was an excellent compliment to my Spanish degree, especially for thinking in local and global contexts. Visual Studies gave me a critical and theoretical foundation to consider a lot of what we began studying in upper level Spanish courses (and especially for studying abroad), while studying Spanish gave me a depth for encountering certain material in my Visual Studies courses; that depth would have been lacking had I not specialized in Spanish."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Romance Studies programs?

"A language degree is always an excellent compliment to whatever other degree you are pursuing. It will greatly improve your communication in your first language and will stretch your mind through pursuing another language. It allows you to connect to the world differently and is never a lost skill."

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