Kaitlin Hoesch '10
Executive Administrator and Special Projects Manager for the Pentagon Memorial Fund in Washington, D.C.
“I knew I wanted to pursue foreign language study while in high school, and French had been what I studied the longest,” she said. “I loved everything about writing, literature, languages and different cultures, and I really wanted to use my time in college to open my mind to all there was to learn through studying languages.”
While she worked toward a French translation degree, Hoesch minored in German and took a few Italian courses, which came in handy when she studied in Sicily one summer.
“The first time I went abroad, I went to Taormina, Sicily, with the most wonderful group of people I could ever imagine. Having only a basic knowledge of Italian at the time, it was the most dynamic and single-most significant time in my life.”
Her other experience abroad, a summer in Nice, had an equally profound impact on Hoesch. “The professors, the students, the places and culture, the food, the experiences—how can you compete with all of that? I grew in so many important ways: mentally, emotionally, intellectually.”
These international experiences helped to steer Hoesch toward a career working with people and communicating across cultures. “I chose my current path because I felt I needed to experience and grow professionally in other areas while still keeping my love of foreign languages and global communication close to me,” she says. “In unexpected and delightful ways, I have used my language skills and so many other things I learned through studying languages.”
The languages she studied continue to pop up in her hobbies and influence her. “For example, I started a blog to channel my love of writing,” she said. “I have always said that my study of foreign languages has helped me learn so much more than I could have ever anticipated about my native language.”
Today, she enjoys a challenging position with the Pentagon Memorial Fund, developing and promoting the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. “I really love what I am doing and feel very fortunate to be a part of this project and organization.”
She urges current Montclair State students to pursue topics they enjoy. “If you love something enough, as I still love learning and exploring foreign languages and cultures, it will find its way back into your life. Oftentimes, the way it comes back into your life is not the way you may think it will or should, but it’s certainly no less meaningful or fulfilling,” she said. She realizes that this is hard to imagine as a student, but stresses that “it is not always easy to envision your post-college options while you are still doing the bulk of your studying. So when you can, volunteer or pursue internships that will allow you to see what you like and what you don’t like. I think the biggest and best surprise after college was to find that there are jobs that you may not even realize exist, but that can be an incredible fit for who you are as a person and the skills you possess.”