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Careers and Internships

What can I do with a Major in Slavic?

Interpreter, media or research analyst, intelligence officer, or a specialist in fields such as marketing, banking, mapping, or non-profit sectors - the possibilities for what you can do with a Slavic major are limited only by your imagination. The value of a Slavic major goes beyond just language skills. Visit our Alumni News section for examples of what our graduates have accomplished post-graduation or check out issues of our departmental newsletter.

Your career-related skills and strengths

See our page Why You Should Study Slavic for examples of how skills gained in our program translate into professional skills you can put on our resume.

Employers are usually more interested in your skills and strengths than in your particular college major. Because you will be qualified for many career paths, your biggest challenge might be narrowing down your options.  Here are some of the job skills Slavic majors acquire that employers value:

  • Read/intrepret/synthesize complext material
  • See situations from multiple perspectives
  • Communicate in more than one language
  • Produce effective, persuasive writing
  • Write/revise for a wide variety of audiences
  • Understand and appreciate cultural variations
  • Design and implement engaging presentations
  • Understand nuance and subtlety
  • Handle ambiguity adeptly
  • Apply mental agility to creative problem solving
  • Understand the broader context
  • Summarize concisely and accurately
  • Link abstract concepts to practical applications
  • Perceive patterns, structures, relationships
  • Understand human nature and its variations
  • Identify and explore implications
  • Propose and support recommendations
  • Simultaneously see the big pictures and details
  • Engage intellectual curiosity
  • Conduct research
  • Bring motivation, imagination, enthusiasm, initiative
  • Compare/contrast information / Draw conclusions
  • Work well individually and on teams
  • Understand how data can be interpreted in multiple ways
  • Write, revise, edit, proofread

It has been our experience that students with substantial foreign language fluency who combine their language skills with a solid foundation in the liberal arts (or combine their Slavic major with a second major in accounting, business, law, economics, science, a teaching certificate), adequate job search preparation (Career Center) and internships (Carlson Center), find fulfilling occupations.  Some students choose to complement their undergraduate studies with graduate programs.  Our department's commitment is to impart to our students a genuine desire for lifelong learning and a seriousness of purpose.

Please see the Making the Most of Your Major (PDF) handout from the Career Center for suggestions.  Also, check out this link for helpful hints on writing an effective resume.

** Visit the Carlson Center:  All students should attempt to gain internship experience **

Where can I find employment with a Slavic major?

The following lists are not exhaustive but are intended to give you an idea of the types of employers and jobs out there for candidates with the skills you've undoubtedly developed while studying at UW.

 1.     Slavic L&L is Required & the job's primary duties directly relate to your major (Entry-level & beyond):

  • Interpreter (many) / Translator (many)
  • Language Teacher/Instructor (many)
  • Russian Linguist (MetLang)
  • Cryptologic Linguists (SOS International)
  • Mobile Game Localization & Community Management-Russian (Gamevil USA)
  • Technical Interpreter-Writer (Nexenta Systems)
  • Medical Interpreter (Rehabilitation Institute)
  • Interpreter- Russian, Ukrainian, Bosnian, Serbian (Language World Services)

 2.     Slavic L&L is Required/Preferred but  primary duties aren't directly related to your major (Entry-Level):

  • News Internship: Europe and Eurasia Programs (InterNews Network)
  • Open Source Officer (Central Intelligence Agency) Operations Support Intern (FINCA International)
  • Web Content Evaluator - Product Quality Control - Russian (Milestone)
  • Maps Quality Analyst - Country Specialist (Apple)
  • Program Coordinator (Russian Senior Center)
  • Assistant Director/Coordinator, Program Development (Russian American Foundation)
  • Global Education Program Coordinator (Community Colleges of Spokane)
  • Bilingual Service Coordinator/ Case Manager (Public Health Solutions)
  • Health Insurance Specialist, Bilingual (Center for Health Care Rights)
  • Social Media Analyst (Russian) / Security/Defense Research Analyst (COLSA Corporation)
  • Community Organizer - Bilingual: Russian/English (Mutual Housing California)
  • Research Analyst (Coleman Research)
  • AFAA Assistant (Cultural Vistas) 
  • Client Advocate, Bilingual (CAMBA)
  • Healthcare Marketer (Centers For Specialty Care Group)
  • Community Food Programs Coordinator (Oregon Food Bank)
  • Bilingual Teller - English/Russian or English/Ukrainian (Wells Fargo)
  • Customer Service Representative - English/Russian (San Francisco Health Plan)
  • Project Coordinator - Bilingual (UPMC)
  • Personal Banker Bilingual (Citi)

 3.     Slavic L&L isn't required or preferred but your transferable skills make you highly qualified (Entry-Level):

Associate Account Strategist, University Graduate (Google), Service Coordinator (Choice Program), Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator (EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases), Research Associate (Environmental Law Institute), Knowledge Assistant (Children's Law Center), Recruitment & Admissions Assistant (Fund for American Studies), Partner Support Coordinator (Kiva Microfunds), Assistant Community Outreach Coordinator (Next Step Living), Change Corps Assistant Organizing Director (Work for Progress), Investigative Advocate (Disability Rights Washington), City Year - Corps Member (City Year Seattle/King County), Financial Advisor (ING Financial Partners), Patient Services Representative (Seattle Reproductive Medicine), Outreach Coordinator (MedBridge Education), Junior Project Manager (HealthPath Education), Internet Marketing Specialist (Chair 10 Marketing), Immigration Assistant/Receptionist (Law Firm), Marketing Coordinator (Yext), Account Coordinator, Employee Benefits (MCM), Executive Team Leader (Target)

More: Project Manager, Social Media Campaign Developer, Policy and Advocacy Specialist

These are just some examples.  The Career Center can help you find positions that meet your goals!

Top eight pieces of advice from our alumni to current majors and minors

We recently asked our Slavic Department alumni what advice they would give our current students about making the most of their time at UW and on finding a job after graduation. A total of 28 alumni responded, sharing a total of 61 pages of incredibly thoughtful suggestions and detailed stories about their experiences during and after college. Click here to read their top eight pieces of advice for current majors, complete with quotes explaining why you should follow these tips!

There are other things you can do to optimize your degree:

  • Consider doing a double degree
  • Study abroad (and get involved in the community there)
  • Look for internships or research projects that match your interests
  • Participate to whatever extent possible in conferences and symposia
  • Attend faculty office hours
  • Work abroad
  • Volunteer
  • Join organizations
  • Attend social events related to your interests
  • Make a connection with someone in the community who is connected with your area of study 

Advice from graduating seniors

When graduating seniors were surveyed about what advice they would give to future majors, this is how they responded:

  • Do all your readings!
  • Memorize things and understand what you are memorizing early.
  • Work hard on classes and coursework.
  • Find a group of people to speak the language with regularly.
  • Participate in service learning or public service work.
  • Participate in UW clubs and organizations.
  • Seek out close relationships with faculty.
  • Study abroad.

Polish Home internships

The Polish Home Association offers internships to UW students. They entail working for the Association and its Board, for the Polish Home Foundation or for other affiliated organizations (such as the Seattle-Gdynia Sister City Association, the UW Polish Studies Endowment Committee, etc.). Duties might include administrative and fundraising activities or other projects. Two current proposals involve archiving and digitizing documents and photographs relating to the history of the PHA (since 1919) and the Seattle-Gdynia Sister City Association’s Seattle Polish Film Festival (since 1992).

The internship has an academic component. Students are expected to write a paper on a mutually agreed on topic, for example, the history of Polish immigration to the U.S., the history of Polish-Americans in Seattle, history of the Polish Hall, Polish film, a specific film director, etc. The academic project should relate to the internship and the student’s interests. The paper must be a minimum of 5 pages for 1 to 2-credit internships, 7-10 pages for 3-4 credits, and 12-15 pages for 5-6 credits. It must include a bibliography with at least three academic sources.

Students get academic credit for the internship via Slavic 499 (Independent Study), the number of credits being dependent on the amount of work they are expected to perform. For example, to receive 5 credits, students should complete approximately 15 hours a week at their internship.

The PHA president will direct and oversee the student’s work. Prof. Katarzyna Dziwirek is the UW faculty contact, responsible for monitoring the progress of the academic part of the project and assigning a grade.