Matthew Winter '02 comments on the role Russian played in his career: "I was surprised how a knowledge of Russian and Russian culture helped me get exactly the kind of job I wanted. Language is one of those skills that is easy for employers to test you on, and a good knowledge of Russian gives people a compelling reason to 'try you out'. Nobody wants to have to hire a staff of minders and translators for a 20-something entry-level employee-- support staff is for upper management. Language is a must because you need to be a self-starter. The understanding of the nuances of Russian culture that I gained on the Dickinson program in Moscow and through the on-campus Russian literature, history and philosophy classes helped me function better locally and deliver good results. I also was able to form bonds with local staff and counterparts much more easily, which made my job more fun and rewarding. The circle of Americans in the CIS for the long-term is still relatively small and if you work on your Russian, you will become known for it very quickly. I still enjoy reading classical and contemporary literature in Russian and look forwarding to moving back to the region soon."
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