Where are BYU German graduates now?

Are you an alumnus of the BYU German department? Send us your story (or update it)! Where are you now? How does German fit in?

Also, you may click here to see what kinds of jobs BYU College of Humanities graduates end up in.


Cody Hill (BA 2012). I am just starting my Masters in Public Administration program at BYU. I graduated in December of 2012 from BYU. My majors were European Studies and German Studies. I applied to BYU, George Washington University, and Claremont Graduate University. I was accepted to all three. My GPA was average, my GRE score was a pinch above average. I was, without a doubt, admitted into all three programs because of my experience abroad as an intern at the US Embassy in Vienna. There is no excuse for not going abroad to intern or study. You don’t have the money? Find someone who has it and borrow it. I borrowed $4,000 from my father’s home teacher. Money is out there, as are people willing to support you and your dreams. Are you married and maybe even have a kid or two? Great, me too. I brought them with me and we all had an amazing time. You can do this. Make your spring and summer time count. don’t get tunnel vision. There is life after your undergrad and you have to prepare for it now. (Updated 2013)


Zach Duvall (BA 2011). I didn’t decide until the summer before my senior year to do Clinical Social Work in grad school. Being concerrned that a major in German might not be very competitive spoke with the dean of admissions for the program. She felt it showed that I was interested in other cultures, languages and people and would not hinder my application. After more reflection on the German program I must agree–this program helped me not only to better understand German, but also the world and it’s different peoples. I feel more open to new opinions and more able to create my own. In the end I did get into the master’s program and I think a major in German helped prepare me well for this and the rest of my life. (Updated 2012)


Timothy Wright (BA 2010). I majored in in German and History at BYU. I then completed a master’s degree at Oxford in German and am currently in a PhD program in Early Modern History at Berkeley. While my ultimate goal has always been to do a PhD in history, my German degree played a pivotal role. Upon graduating from BYU, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in an Enlightenment studies  program offered by the German Department at Oxford University. As a PhD applicant boasting degrees in both history and German, I could demonstrate my proficiency in language, literature, and historical methodology. Without German as one of my majors, I would most likely not have been able to attend the University of Oxford and perhaps not secured a PhD spot at the top History department in the country. While my German degree has been more than a means to an end, it also opened up opportunities at a wider variety of graduate programs than would have been possible otherwise.


Dan Shoop (BA 2010). The German BA provided me with a very passionate educational experience that opened my mind to new horizons.  I feel I gained a real education in addition to skills applicable to the workplace. I always knew I wanted to go to dental school, and a degree in German (literature emphasis) helped me not only understand texts more deeply, but also understand daily situations in a completely different way. I loved learning about something I had a passion for, outside of the many prerequisites for dental school, and that also helped me live a balanced life.  It didn’t hurt that serving a German mission made the degree a bit quicker, helping me get to dental school sooner.  During interviews, one school was particularly impressed with my degree in German and emphasis in literature, that they had told the whole group about it.  They mentioned loving well rounded applicants who are more than biology robots. That school–where I now am!–is one of the best.


Anonymous German Linguistics Grad (BA 2007). As an undergraduate, I wanted to pursue something “practical” like business, law, or higher education administration. I felt that a German degree would improve my reading, writing, and global competency while maintaining my German proficiency. I did not want my degree to limit me to German-related careers, however, so I gained significant internship and volunteer experience outside of the classroom in academic advising, career counseling, and research. Because of my good grades and outside experience, I was hired by a CPA firm in the San Francisco Bay Area to create a professional development program for its professionals. I was told to “build the firm’s university” and advise all of its employees as to how to be successful in this new university and become better professionals. My resume was a complete package that told them that I could succeed in this position. After that first job, I did go on to earn my master’s degree in higher education administration at Stanford University. I was later accepted to two of the top five higher education doctoral programs in the country. My German degree had yet to “hold me back,” as many students seem to fear. I have observed that the people who majored in “degrees to nowhere” (like German, supposedly) are the ones with the most impressive and creative ideas and the greatest ability to solve problems. As long as students do their best in and out of the classroom, a major in German can be a “degree to anywhere.” I largely attribute the many amazing experiences I have had after BYU to my German major at BYU.


Anni Taylor (BA 2007). I was an exchange student in a small Bavarian town during high school and absolutely loved it. As a student at BYU, I took advantage of every opportunity to improve my knowledge of the German language and culture. I lived in the German house for 7 semesters and did an internship in Germany one summer. The study abroad office hired me to help out with German internships and I discovered a passion for teaching others about the German culture. After graduating, I took a break to serve a mission (in Russia) and then went on to earn a Master’s degree in Deutsch als Fremdsprache (Teaching German as a Foreign Language) at the University of Leipzig. Between my German major and my TESOL minor at BYU, I was extremely well prepared to succeed in that program. I now work in Heidelberg for a study abroad company whose director I met while working at BYU’s study abroad office. Chances are if current BYU students would like to do an internship in Germany, they will cross paths with me. As a German major at BYU, I not only was allowed to study what I love, but I gained a sense of camaraderie that is typical amongst German students and professors. For me it was clear that we were all there to learn and discuss the things we loved most, and that we cared about each others’ well being. Because I felt that my professors cared about their students’ personal success, I cared about fellow students’ success, as well. I now earn a living doing my best to make sure that students have positive experiences with German culture and feel like someone cares about their success.


Marita Dimond (BA 2004). In high school traveled to Germany as an exchange student, which led to a German major at BYU. I had wonderful cultural opportunities while studying, such as living in BYU’s “German House,” working in a Migros supermarket in a small Swiss village, and researching in Austrian archives for the Sophie Project. I made wonderful friends in my travels and classes. With research experience in Austria and Germany I decided to go into library work. After graduation I began to volunteer at my hometown library. A year later I started a four-year graduate school in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University, during which I had an internship at BYU’s Special Collections. I wanted to do archival work, but life does not always happen as planned. Instead I began working for Fresno County as a Generalist/Public Librarian in rural agricultural communities, but after budget cuts I found myself without a job. After some job-hunting and volunteering I am now employed as Librarian for the Lassen Community College Library. As a German major I came to love learning, books, and the European friends I still keep in contact with. I believe that studying European culture has made me a better person.


Lori Pierce (BA 1988). I majored in French and minored in German. Between my junior and senior year I participated in your work internship program and had a job at Migros in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. After my BA I got an MBA from BYU and then worked in the business field for many years before my first “retirement” to be a full-time mom to three children. I went back to work full-time this year as a French and German (and soon to be Latin) instructor at a public boarding school for advanced students in Math and Science from all over the state of Mississippi. My language abilities lay dormant for several years, and I’m really enjoying the opportunity to use and study them again. The work internship program really made the difference for me in my language experience. I draw upon it every day now. I still remember how hard it was that summer to be away from everyone I knew and around no one who spoke English, but I am so grateful I did it.