When asked about his favorite part about KU, Mitchell Pruett almost didn't know where to start. The low cost of tuition and prolific programs that enabled him to graduate with a double major and a minor? Studying abroad and completing an internship in Germany? Attending an alternative break in Detroit, conducting research, belonging to organizations ranging from student housing government to the tennis club? Check, check and check.
But Mitchell has no hesitation about his opinion on the German department.
“Many of my favorite professors and instructors at KU were from the German department,” he said, "because of their engaging teaching style, dedication to students’ success, and genuine interest they take in students’ lives inside and outside of the German department. I was invited to at least two professors’ houses and have met GTAs for coffee and conversation at Stammtish, the weekly German-speaking group.”
Studying Latin in high school prompted Mitchell to major in German, sharpening his native command of English. “Learning German has dramatically improved my command of English because of the intensive grammar lessons embedded in the coursework,” he said. “This helps with professional and academic writing in English by improving complexity, variety, and precision of language.”
Mitchell completed his degree in May 2015 with a double major in Psychology and German Studies, and a minor in business, Mitchell reflected on how having small class sizes and networking opportunities paved the way for his success.
“Small class sizes allowed for heavy class participation, which helped to digest the material quickly,” he said. “Classes like Business German and the capstone course on Contemporary Germany give the German Studies major clout in a job search and opens students up to modern international affairs.”
After graduation, Mitchell headed to Madison, Wisconsin, as a project manager for Epic Systems, a software company. It only took one interview for him to land the job, but a host of support from his alma mater to get him there. “The faculty in the German department was incredibly helpful in the job application process,” he added, “volunteering to be references for applications and referring me to connections inside of companies who could tell me more about the companies’ corporate culture.”
Mitchell currently works at the Human Resource Management Help Desk as an Administrative Assistant and is applying for graduate programs in speech pathology.