April 25, 2018 at 2:42 pm

Happy Beginnings | Linguistics Senior to Serve in U.S. Navy

Editor’s Note: The Happy Beginnings series features recent College of Arts & Sciences graduates who are getting started in careers, graduate school and service.

Rob Schroeder ’18, a senior Linguistics major, is planning to serve in the United States Navy as an officer after receiving his B.A. in Linguistics.

He wants to use his language abilities and cultural knowledge for the betterment of America’s relationship with the world.

“I have found,” Schroeder says, “that among the first things that we notice upon seeing another person as ‘foreign’ are the language they speak. Through my research in OHIO’s Linguistics Department, I’ve found that this barrier to human connection can be swept away.”

In fact, Schroeder’s primary focus in Linguistics has been on the Chinese language, and in his four years at Ohio University, he has made a home in the Mandarin classes and actively participated in various Chinese cultural events. The culmination of this pursuit was in the summer of 2016, when he traveled around China as a volunteer English teacher. His dream is to actively build bridges between the two cultures.

“…My years at OHIO have opened my eyes to the majesty and greatness of Chinese culture,” he says. “The staff and students here have opened my eyes to how great our nations and cultures are. I believe in how prosperous our world could be with closer communication, and I want to help in this endeavor. For this, OHIO Linguistics and Mandarin Chinese have given me a wonderful foundation.”

As a testament to his hard work, Schroeder recently passed the test for potential Navy linguists with flying colors (some 40 to 50 points above the passing grade) His Chinese instructors state that his Chinese is nearly fluent at this point and that he is an excellent student.

His dream job is to work for the U.S. State Department, and some experience serving in the military – as a military linguist – can be an important stepping stone toward that end goal. By combining his Linguistics major with a Psychology minor and an East Asian Studies Certificate, Schroeder has created the profile he needs for future success.

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