Alumni profile

Nicole Schiller Palmisano

Year of Graduation:  2008

Where are you working?  Briefly what does your job entail?

I work for an association management firm in Springfield, Illinois, where I assist nonprofit organizations with continuing education, government relations, social networking and event planning.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most? Find the most challenging?

Many of the organizations we manage seek to recruit and educate college students on issues that are important to their majors and future professions.  I have worked to spearhead this effort and have really enjoyed the opportunity to help students prepare for their futures. 

Because we manage several organizations, I am often asked to move from task to task very quickly. While I enjoy this part of my work, I often find it quite challenging.

How has your major or minor in German helped you after graduation? How are you using the language, communication, or the intercultural communication skills you learned in the program?

I feel like the knowledge that I gained through IWU’s German program really helped me stand out when I was looking for a job.  Not only did the program provide me with a unique skill, but it also greatly increased my understanding of world events, history, and art.  

Has your job given you any insight as to what you would like to pursue as a career?

I am very fortunate to have found a job that I would like to maintain as my career.  There is a lot of room for growth in association management and I feel like I can go very far by continuing my education and learning from those with whom I work.

What advice would you give to any German majors or minors searching for a job?

Get an internship while you are at IWU.  Job experience in your field will set you apart from other graduates and is truly invaluable. Also, if you are not going into a field where you can directly use your German language skills that doesn’t make your German knowledge useless to you professionally.  Employers want individuals who can commit to a project and see it through.  Learning a language takes commitment and demonstrates character.