Euro London and language graduate careers
This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 25th June 2011 and has been read 4688 times.
Although I previously believed the solution to the decline in the study of Modern Languages at university to be the re-education of students about the year abroad; its importance, its surprising affordability, its life-changing potential and the support network available; perhaps it would be more effective simply to tell students of the many, varied and undersubscribed career paths both in the UK and abroad which are available to language graduates.
David and Steve Shacklock founded Euro London Appointments in January 1990 to fill a gap in the recruitment market – companies and banks were requesting language speakers, but agencies couldn’t provide them. The business now has offices in London, Manchester, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, Luxembourg and Zurich, and is known for its team of bilingual/multilingual consultants who have lived in the country relating to their language ability, putting applicants of all nationalities at their ease, and accurately assessing their language skills.
I was interested to find out which languages are the most useful in terms of employment, and I was surprised by the answer. It turns out that although demand has increased for Russian language skills, French and German are still the most desirable for employers in the UK. Even more desirable, however, is the candidate’s experience of a well-executed year abroad.
"The cross-border experience is hugely valuable," says Steve, "along with the perception of being a ‘young European’," able to move from country to country, all the while understanding the languages, cultures and customs. Being able to communicate effectively with foreign clients can completely transform a business, and becoming ‘international’ is something that an increasing number of companies are looking to do.
The year abroad is an opportunity to become fluent in a foreign language, to meet new people, to discover your independence and self-confidence, to 'become a local' and to get to know the intricacies of your new city. Most importantly of all, however, it is a chance to get working knowledge of your language skills and give your CV a boost by getting a full- or part-time job.
"It’s better to have too much than too little experience," says David, "include it all on your CV, even bar work! Employers like to see you have gone out and worked locally. Include socialising and travel in your interests."
"Network while you’re abroad," adds Steve, "make useful international contacts and avoid expats if you can, in order to keep focused on improving your language skills."
So after graduation where should you start?
"Come and see us! There is always an interesting mixture of jobs available for our applicants. When the market’s vibrant, companies come to us in search of candidates and it’s important that our Account Managers have a good relationship with each business so we understand exactly what they’re looking for and can match them with the right candidate."
From my brief meeting with Steve and David I can clearly see that the language recruitment industry is growing steadily and longing for more students to get involved. The jobs are there and they need high-quality candidates to fill them. The trouble is that not only are Modern Languages becoming less popular at university because students 'don’t want to be teachers, interpreters or translators' (and don’t know of the multitude of other opportunities available to them), but the recruitment industry has no way of speaking to those students who have chosen languages and persuading them to use those languages in their career. That is where ThirdYearAbroad.com comes in.
So, year abroad students past, present and future; let us show you how to ensure you come back from your year abroad speaking the language fluently and make the most of your time away. We can give you a taste of some of the amazing jobs you can go into, so you can follow in the footsteps of celebrity linguists and successful language graduates. Who knows, these case studies might inspire you to greater things and open you up to to a whole world of international opportunities! And when you get there, language recruitment people like Euro London will be ready and waiting to help you find the job of your dreams.