Department of Languages

Student spotlight – Laura Hilty

Laura Hilty is a graduating senior in the Language and International Trade (L&IT) program. She studied and worked abroad in Spain, and she co-founded the Spanish Professional Society on Clemson’s campus. Let’s learn more about Laura and her accomplishments.

Graduating L&IT senior Laura Hilty.
Graduating L&IT senior Laura Hilty. Photo courtesy of Laura Hilty.

Where are you from and why did you choose Clemson?

I am from Lexington, Kentucky originally. When I was choosing a college, I wanted to leave Kentucky and try something new. I was looking at universities all over, but I knew Clemson was perfect the second I stepped on campus. Clemson also has the very unique L&IT major combined with the school spirit, high achieving reputation, and campus feel, so it really was the perfect fit for me.

How would you describe yourself? What do you like to do in your free time?

I love challenging myself to try new things, and traveling is a huge part of this. This played a huge role when deciding on my major, and I am so excited to have chosen a path that revolves around global travel and experiences!

Why did you select your major? Have you studied abroad or done internships related to your studies?

I always knew I wanted to do something on the international level, and I enjoyed my Spanish classes in high school thoroughly. When I heard about the L&IT major, it seemed absolutely perfect. I think the curriculum has the ideal balance of an international business education paired with the language and cultural knowledge that is so necessary in today’s global society. In conjunction with my major, I studied abroad in Alicante, Spain for the spring semester of 2015. After, I moved to Madrid for the summer, where I interned with the international company Voices of Leaders. Besides this, I have completed an internship with the nonprofit United Way of the Bluegrass and am currently a Recruitment Marketing intern with Clemson Marketing Services.

Laura and friends in Granada, Spain.
Laura and friends in Granada, Spain. Photo courtesy of Laura Hilty.

What was your most memorable class or experience in the Department of Languages?

I remember my first class as a freshman was L&IT 127 with Dr. Williams. Everyone who knew him would agree that Dr. Williams was always filled with passion and excitement, and it was contagious. I remember leaving the class so inspired and excited about my future. What a great way to start off college!

What advice would you give to other students in your major?

To other students in my major, just remember to always be as involved as possible and to start developing yourself professionally very early! I remember going to the career fair as a freshman and thinking I did not belong, but I am so happy I started gaining professional skills at the beginning of my college career rather than halfway through. Also, being involved in organizations is yet another form of networking. You might get a job/internship from meeting someone at a Clemson event…you never know!

How does knowing a foreign language benefit you?

In my experience so far, my knowledge of Spanish has set me apart from my competition in the business world. It shows dedication and a willingness to learn, besides opening doors to a multitude of new opportunities that require a second language.

Laura in Chefchaouen, Morocco, during one of her trips while studying abroad.
Laura in Chefchaouen, Morocco, during one of her trips while studying abroad. Photo courtesy of Laura Hilty.

Are you involved in any extra-curricular organizations, and what is your role?

In fall 2014, another student and I started the Spanish Professional Society at Clemson. This is an organization that promotes the Spanish language and the benefits students of all majors can gain from foreign language knowledge. The club has been a huge success so far, and I am excited to be passing it off to such a great team after I graduate. Besides this, I am the Vice President of Social Activity in the German Professional Society, and an active member of the professional business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi.

What are your plans after graduation?

I will be working for TrackMaven in Washington, D.C., as a Sales Development Representative.