Fluency

Every graduate school has a different procedure for filling out applications.  Sometimes the department you're applying to will have its own application, and sometimes you must submit a general application for graduate school at the university.  In the case of the latter, I've found a few institutions that have a section titled "Languages", and then they provide space for you to list the ones you know.  I'm a bit rusty on my Spanish, but I listed it anyway, and then it occurred to me that there are many languages I know much better than I know Spanish: Scheme, C++, and Python, for example.  I was very tempted to add these to the list, but I restrained myself.  Better to err on the side of professionalism, I suppose.  

This reminds me of a story.  While I was walking through the crowded halls of the 2008 Grace Hopper conference, I overheard one of many conversations going on between an industry recruiter and a student interviewee.  It went something like this:
Recruiter: "What languages do you know?"
Student: "Well, I speak some Spanish, and a little German."
Recruiter: "Oh, that's great, but I was actually wondering what programming languages you're familiar with."
Student: "Oh, yeah, of course..."

This reminds me of another story (I promise, it will be the last one for this post).  It was my first interview for a 'professional' job/internship, and I hadn't quite finished my freshman year.  It was with a very nice recruiter from General Mills:
Recruiter: "What languages do you know?"
Me: "I speak Spanish."
Recruiter: "Oh, that's great, but I was actually wondering what programming languages you're familiar with."
Me: "Oh, yeah, of course..."

Everyone has to start somewhere.  :)  

1 comment:

  1. I wish they would specify. I mean, you would think that computer science types would.

    Also, when I saw the subject line, I thought this was going to be a post about this fluency. I thought, "Oh, Valkyrie got her working on her project, huh? Well, how nice."

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