The Hispanic Department de la Universidad de Cork ofrece, un muy interesante y provechoso programa de Máster a sus alumnos. El curso es práctico, con un continuo trabajo individual y colectivo en las asignaturas dedicadas a la traducción del español al inglés y viceversa, pero también ofrece otras opciones relacionadas con diferentes aspectos de las lenguas y culturas de la península Ibérica y de América Latina. Mención especial requiere el proceso de investigación, elaboración y redacción de la tesis que cada alumno escoge en función de sus intereses e inquietudes. La proximidad y dedicación de los tutores ponen la guinda a una experiencia francamente, y en todos los términos, positiva, para toda persona interesada en adentrarse en el mundo Iberoamericano, ya sea por razones académicas como por razones profesionales.
Studying languages in university can lead you down many diverse career paths. The one that naturally springs to mind is teaching. Since finishing my Masters in Hispanic Studies, I have used my Spanish in education and customer service roles and latterly in my profession as a recruitment consultant. While working in financial recruitment, I was responsible for sourcing and screening multilingual accounting professionals for primarily multinational shared service positions. The ability to read CVs and screen prospective candidates in multiple languages is a huge selling point for a recruiter providing a service to a client company. Furthermore, a growing tendency, particularly in the IT sector, is for multinational companies to service their EMEA markets from their Irish base and there is an increasing demand for candidates with English and at least one other European language in an array of technical and non-technical roles. ¡Así que animaos a estudiar español – no sabéis qué lejos os puede llevar!
Upon completing a four year degree course in European Studies in UL, I decided to take up a 12 month contract role teaching English in Pamplona. While I really enjoyed my time there, I knew that I wanted to pursue further formal studies in Spanish and the taught Masters programme in UCC offered me exactly what I was looking for - the safety net or 'scaffold' of a highly structured modularised programme combined with the flexibility to explore and develop a research interest for the thesis component of the course.
I have to say that the year I did the Masters in UCC was without doubt the most enjoyable academic experience I have had to date! In fact, I can´t speak highly enough of the staff who were unfailing in their support and encouragement throughout my time there. Six of us embarked on the Masters course in October 2000 and the welcome we were extended by the members of staff of the department from the very first day was very special indeed (in fact our first day we were greeted with a glass of wine!) and I know we all look back on the experience with very fond memories. One thing we all commented on was the palpable difference between the undergraduate and postgraduate experience in terms of the level of engagement with the staff and integration into the departmental community. The fact that we were given the chance to tutor first year beginner students of Spanish was also an excellent opportunity from our own developmental perspective and served to further affirm our position within the departmental family.
The Masters in Hispanic Studies was a hugely rewarding experience both on a personal and professional level. It gave me great insights in to the world of research and writing and academia and greatly enhanced my linguistic and translation skills in Spanish. Furthermore, I gained great experience in tutoring young adults and was able to build on this experience in later years when I delivered courses in Spanish as part of a number of Adult Education programmes.