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The Growing GILT Program at The University of Texas at Arlington

On Friday, I had the opportunity to teach a class at the University of Texas at Arlington in Texas. The class was on the Importance of Relationships in Vendor Management. The audience was 3rd and 4th-year students in the University’s Globalization, Internationalization, Localization, and Translation (GILT) Program. The program is run by Dr. Pete Smith, Henry Anderson, and Blake Carpenter.

As someone who once aspired to professional education in my career, it was great to stand in front of students who would soon work in our industry discussing a subject I am passionate about. Over breakfast Friday morning, Blake talked about the importance of second language acquisition and driving home that it is not what the student can do with the language, but what the language does for the student. There is no position in corporate America that does not benefit from bilingualism in a prime language. Even specialists within languages of lesser diffusion have opportunities. Over lunch, Henry, the Department’s Computational Linguist, talked about the disappearance of up to 700 Aboriginal languages within the next 30-40 years in Australia, none of which will be documented. Blake brought the conversation back to the importance of applied knowledge. Education is nothing without application.

When class started, the room was full of students who spoke French, German, Arabic, Spanish, Russian and Swahili. All of them had enrolled to get a minor in GILT. The program focuses on theory, real-world application, and technologies. What was great was to receive questions from future employees, advocates, and linguists who will drive our industry forward. The hour went far too quickly.

After I had presented, Dr. Smith broke us up into smaller groups to answer as many questions as we could focusing on operations, sales, and the industry as a whole. Afterward, Dr. Smith, Henry, and Blake hosted graduating students in a private lunch with our team.

It’s difficult to get out of the office and give back, especially when you focus on deadlines and growth. Friday, reminded me why it’s so important. It’s rejuvenating. It’s a breath of fresh air and vital to our industry’s growth.

To everyone at the University of Texas at Arlington thank you! Our team greatly appreciates your hospitality. It was a pleasure to meet each of you. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Respectfully,

Michael Bearden

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