Jonathan was a Language Assistant in Bochum and now works for Virgin Media Business
Having graduated from Hull University I spent a summer working as a translation assistant for Schuco before starting to work for Virgin Media Business. I did use my German knowledge with some foreign customers, but the most transferable skill to come out of my year abroad was the confidence to speak in front of large groups of people, which really improved my ability to hold my own in job interviews and presentations. All of which contributed to me being named salesperson of the year for Virgin in 2010 (after selling £1.25m of products and services) and UK New Sales Professional of the year for 2011 at the BESMA awards.
Outside of work the people I met in Germany are still friends of mine and several made the trip across to attend my wedding earlier this year. I speak German with my wife and we make regular visits to several regions of the country to meet friends and explore more of Germany. All of which has certainly enhanced my life, the start of me realising who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life came from my year abroad."
In partnership with the British Academy and University Council of Modern Languages (UCML) we gathered short reports from graduates on the importance that the year abroad has had for them, in terms of their skill set, their careers and their lives. These reports formed the basis of the Position Statement: Valuing the Year Abroad. Browse the reports below for inspiration, and select a tag within a report to read more on that theme.