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Profiles: Emily Phillips
Name Emily Phillips
College Bryn Mawr College
Degree B.A. Comparative Literature & German
Current job title Engagement Manager
Employer Blinkist
Location Berlin, Germany

Why did you first start learning German?
I began my German journey during my first semester at Bryn Mawr College. I was looking to learn another foreign language and thought that German was "intellectual." So I opted for that. I was also eventually charmed by my teacher and fellow students, so I kept it up. When I spent 6 months abroad during my junior year, I lived with a host family that included two small children - this experience really cemented my proficiency.

What did you get out of your German studies?
My German studies gave me the satisfaction and pleasure of mastering another foreign language (as a high school student I studied French), opened the door to a richer appreciation and understanding of German history and culture, and ultimately led me to my „zweite Heimat“ – Berlin, where I’ve lived now for nearly a decade.

What influence did German have on your career choices?
My German fluency helped me to get a Fulbright grant back in 2009, which paved the way for me to build a life in one of Europe’s most thrilling and vibrant cities – Berlin. I first fell in love with the city during an exchange semester as an undergraduate and when that ended, was determined to return. After my Fulbright year, I landed a job at Atlantik-Brücke, an association for transatlantic relations, where I spoke German every day. My German fluency helped me when I shifted into Berlin’s startup sector, where I’ve now worked for the last 6 years in publishing and e-learning startups.

How you use German today at home or in your work?
I speak German every single day, since I now call Berlin home! I work at an international startup where the office language is English, so I have to make sure to actively seek out opportunities to speak and read in German. Of course one way that I actively use German is by spending time with my German friends.


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