After graduating from BSU in 2013 with a double major in French and International Business, Geoff Moore earned a MA in Conflict Resolution from King’s College in London, England. He is currently working for the International Crisis Group, a non-profit NGO in New York City, and recently shared his reflections on how his studies in French from BSU have been instrumental to his post-graduate studies and career:
“I am confident that my knowledge of French helped me to get my job with International Crisis Group because they explicitly asked about my degree in my interview. I use the language intermittently in my daily work because I report on events at the UN Security Council. If, for example, the Special Envoy for Syria is asked a question in French while I take notes on his press conference, I have to be able to switch between English and French. Knowing both languages is extremely useful when your work involves the UN.
“Reading primary sources in French (such as laws) allowed me to expand the range of material I could analyze for research during my master’s degree. Being able to access news reports and journal articles in French was particularly important when I was writing about topics in North Africa because I didn’t need to rely on translations. Having French classmates, and others who were fluent in French, allowed me to chat with them and ask questions when I didn’t understand something.
“My French courses at BSU prepared me beyond language skills. I could not have guessed how much my academic interest in violent conflicts would be informed by what I learned from reading Albert Camus or studying French history and politics. Similarly, it is hard to describe how analyzing the film Welcome in my French Senior Seminar about refugees in the French city of Calais, would be something I’d take to heart when visiting the Calais refugee camp as a volunteer. More important than all of that, is the fact that my professors got me excited about studying. They did this by emphasizing that a literary analysis should be approached like a detective approaches a case, looking for evidence. Learning a language is about more than just learning grammar – it is about getting excited by the new ideas that come from learning about a different culture.”