Alumni Mentor Program
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Julen Omaechevarria

Liberal Arts Major(s): Chinese
Minor: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Hometown: Oradell, New Jersey
Experience Time: Summer 2020

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

I was paired and networked with mentor Benjamin Stewart, a Liberal Arts alumnus who graduated in 2015 with dual degrees in both Russian and Spanish. I met with him several times throughout 2020 and 2021, while Ben was living and working in the Ukraine and gained valuable insight into what I could potentially do with a degree in Chinese.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My mentor and I covered a wide range of topics including a potential master's program following graduation; pursuing a double major; assistance with the Critical Language Scholarship application; advice regarding study abroad, and what life is like working and living as an interpreter within a foreign country.

"Having a mentor is a bit like looking in a mirror. Not at who you are currently, but who you could potentially be with a Liberal Arts degree."

How will this experience impact your career goals?

We have talked about several career goals. Ben has been incredibly insightful, easygoing, readily-available, accommodating, and an excellent resource and contact for a language major. As I enter my last year at Penn State, I hope to continue the partnership I've developed with Ben.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

Lauren Granese did a masterful job in matching my major, career goals, and personality with Ben's. I'm very grateful to have been a part of this mentorship program. Having a mentor is a bit like looking in a mirror. Not at who you are currently, but who you could potentially be with a Liberal Arts degree.

For more information on the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program, visit our website.
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