Jessica Salas graduated in 2007 with a BA in Journalism Graphics with minors in Spanish and Travel & Tourism.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

What is your career now?

I currently work full-time as a graphic designer for a promotional products company as well as for myself, Alas Creative (https://www.facebook.com/AlasCreativeDesign). Previously, I worked as a Spanish teacher (K-8) as well as a tour director.

What does a typical week in your position look like?

I work from home (I did so before the pandemic). I typically work 8 am -5 pm in my home office with a lunch break somewhere in there. I love it though because my hours are flexible. If I have an appointment or need to pick up my kid, I can just leave and make up the time earlier in the day or later at night when the kids are in bed. Practically, in a typical week, I create logos for companies, design brochures, create mocks for products, design custom packaging, design email advertising for our company, design business cards, letterhead, envelopes, and more.

What are the most valuable skills you learned in your major?

The most valuable skill I learned was to keep on learning. There were always workshops and networking opportunities across all three areas of study I focused on and they were the most important part of my education. I am constantly learning new skills to hone my craft and stay on top of the best resources to be the most productive with my workday.

What is your advice to other Humanities students?

My best advice to students is to get out of the classroom. Find opportunities to use your language skills – interpret elementary school conferences, help with refugees who are resettling, get connected online. Propel yourself into your field – don’t wait for others to suggest things.

How did/do your language studies influence or contribute to your current occupation?

I was able to teach Spanish for a few years in between other jobs. I am now able to help with my own job retention by using my skills to appeal to new clients who would like their files (signage, brochures, etc.) in Spanish. I can also gain new clients of my own who maybe don’t speak English at all.

How does it contribute to your life outside of work as well?

My Spanish skills helped me find my husband – just kidding. However, he did say it was very appealing that I could communicate with his family, some of whom don’t speak English very well. I have been able to raise my two kids bilingual (a skill I wish I had earlier). I have also made a ton of new friends! I connected with other moms who are raising their kids bilingual and we formed a group that met weekly. Our kids got to speak Spanish with each other and we all formed new bonds.

My last comments are that foreign language skills will never go out of style. They will never be a skill that loses value. Unlike other jobs which may be outdated or replaced by computers, the human element of language cannot ever be replaced.

For more information about the Department of Modern Languages and Classics, visit our website, contact our office or follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.