Danielle W Johns, B.A. 2010

Analytical Lead; Google – San Francisco, CA

2010 Major: Spanish, Latin American and Brazilian Studies; International Comparative Studies; minor in Political Science

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

"One of my main personal goals is to be fluent in at least 7 languages. And professionally, I have aimed to work for international companies and in roles with an international component. Being fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and having an understanding and appreciate for the cultures that speak those languages has helped me to be able to work in the federal government, financial services, travel, and technology in roles where those skills and knowledge where an asset and at times a requirement. Being multilingual has also allowed me to travel globally with more ease and meet some of my closest friends. Brazil is one of my favorite places to visit and my first time there was with Duke in Brazil. I then attended the Middlebury Language School for Portuguese a year after doing the study abroad program and met people that I still keep in contact with today and who I have visited in Brazil as well. As they lived in different areas of Brazil, I also got to visit places there that would have otherwise not been on my list.

"My other major was International and Comparative Studies.The ICS major's interdisciplinary focus and cross-cultural components helped with my critical thinking skills and being able to understand concepts from different perspectives and using different methodologies. These were critical skills for me to have in my professional life as I worked across different industries and primarily in roles requiring strong research and analysis skills. I chose both majors knowing that I wanted to have a more internationally-focused career and lead a more global life. Having a strong language and global studies foundation allowed me to work in roles more focused on LATAM and the Caribbean, work with global companies, and more easily work across different international timezones."

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

"I would suggest coupling this major with quantitative coursework that can help with research. I did more of this at the graduate level, which probably also coincided with coding becoming more common. As technology is impacting pretty much all industries at this point, I think at least a basic understanding of quantitative methods beyond economics is important at this point going forward."

Danielle W Johns