Zach Carter is a journalism student in the 3+1 program at Quinnipiac University. Carter is very much involved in school, from covering numerous sporting events around the school, to participating in events in his own, being a member of the Quinnipiac club baseball team, among other intramural teams. However, being a talented writer and reporter aren't his only skills.
Carter is bilingual, and has been speaking and learning Spanish for a very long
time. Carter is so comfortable with the language that he chose to pursue Spanish as his minor.
I sat down with Zach to ask him about his background with the language and what he plans to do with it.
What grade did you first start taking Spanish classes?
I don't know if I could pinpoint an exact grade aid, but it was prized somewhere around kindergarten or first grade.
Really? That's a long time.
Yeah. Our school had a system where the kids who needed a little bit of extra help when they're reading and writing with English would go off to another room, and then the kids who were proficient enough would stay in the regular room, and they would learn some Spanish on the side. So I had a pretty good foundation from a pretty young age.
So as you went through the grades in school, did Spanish, was there ever a time where you saw it as something that was appealing to your future?
I don't know if appealing is the right word. It was just kind of like, hey, I already have this skill in my back pocket. Why not continue to learn? When I got to middle school, they let you pick, like, you could take Spanish or French or German or Latin or something like that, and I just stuck with Spanish because it was easy and I already knew most of it, and that's just kind of in my mindset throughout the whole process. Why would I switch to a completely new language when I already had such a good foundation with a preexisting one?
So having that advantage with Spanish dating back to early in your education, what do you plan on doing with a Spanish minor and a journalism major?
I don't know what I plan to do. I'd like to study abroad maybe next year in my grad year, but I just haven't really figured it out. I only kind of declared the minor because I had to. You need to declare a minor for the School of Communications. So there was like, the requirement part of that, and I also had six credits coming into Quinnipiac because I took AP Spanish Lang and AP Spanish Lit in high school, and I got a good enough grade on the AP exam so that I could get credit, and Quinnipiac took those, thankfully. So I had a good again, a good foundation, and I only needed to take like four or so classes. So I'm going to finish my minor this semester, actually. But in terms of what I'm going to do with it, I don't really know. Maybe it looks good on your resume, I guess that I can speak a second language.
Is it something that you actually enjoy doing, or is it sort of more or less going through the motions?
I'd say it's more or less going through the motions partly because I don't really put in enough effort to learn the really nitty gritty stuff of the language, just because throughout the years I've learned all the basics. So I know enough to be able to understand it in reading and writing, but to speak it fluently, I wouldn't really think I'm capable of doing that. But I don't know. The thing with the Quinnipiac curriculum is it's kind of the same thing year after year from Spanish 101 to 102 to 201 to 202. It's the same stuff every time. So it's not like I'm really learning new things and expanding my vocabulary. I feel like I'm just learning the same stuff over and over again, so I don't know how my Spanish capabilities will really excel in the next couple of years.
How do you feel that a Spanish minor will set you apart from other potential job applicants looking for the same job as you? What skills do you think that will bring you that others don't have?
I think it opens up a whole new world, honestly, because there's a large population of people out there that can't speak English, and maybe Spanish is their only language. So. You know, I don't even have to speak it fluently to be able to understand them or translate partially for them. So when employers see that on my resume and they understand that I'm a person who can open them up to another demographic of people, I might get the job over somebody else, I think it's a tremendous help.