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12/15/2019
First Encounters Student Contest Entries Due

Member Accolades

Profiles: Steven Montero
Name Steven Montero
College Northwestern University
Degree B.S. Journalism
Current job title Video Content Manager and Editor
Employer stern GmbH
Location Hamburg, Germany

Why did you first start learning German?
Initially I began learning German in the sixth grade because my older sister had chosen the language and my parents wanted us to learn the same one so we could help each other. As to why she chose German, or rather why my parents pushed her toward learning German? We already spoke English and Spanish at home and so French was the only other viable option. Coincidentally, the summer before my older sister had to choose a foreign language we went on a family trip to Europe and my parents were enthralled by how friendly and open the Germans were. They wanted us to learn the language because it sounded so different to everything we knew.

What did you get out of your German studies?
My German studies enhanced my secondary education by allowing me to read texts in the original language as a history major focusing on the first half of the 20th century. In addition, it allowed me to study abroad for an entire year while in college, opening the door to the best year of my life at the time. And in general, of course, being able to speak another language lets you see the world through another culture's perspective. This is an invaluable asset in life and the business world that everyone should experience. 

What influence did German have on your career choices?
My entire career was influenced by my German skills, which brought me to Germany twice and opened up opportunities to live and work here. I currently work as a video journalist for the online edition of stern, one of the most widely read and respected publications in the entire country. And yes, I actually write journalistic texts in German. Meetings, coffee breaks, business development -- everything I do is in this foreign language that I've slowly begun to master.

How do you use German today at home or in your work?
I believe learning any foreign language is an important step in a person's development. Germany just happens to be an economic and political powerhouse that arguably may be that last stronghold of democratic values in the world with a vision for a better future. It's a good time to start learning and keep practicing.


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