What can I do with study abroad experience?
Junior Year in Munich Program (JYM) alumni have successfully competed for employment and career opportunities that either require or prefer the level of German language proficiency and extensive international, cross-cultural experience they acquired in the program.
A 2018 study by Adzuna confirms what the Junior Year in Munich Program has stood by for years: "Not only does knowing a second language make résumés stand out with potential employers but this can drive an increase in salary," says Lily Valentin. "Companies today serve a global community and want to hire versatile employees who can speak other languages and can reflect cultural expectations." If you know a language used in a powerful economy or one that's involved in business innovation you'll likely be paid more, the study confirms.
JYM shares job openings and career opportunities that require German and are ideally suited for recent graduates with the JYM Alumni Facebook Group.
The Junior Year in Munich study abroad experience offers skills in:
- Critical thinking
- Increased understanding of global, economic and political matters
- Rapport and relationship-building
- Time management
Careers with experience in German
Studying abroad during your junior year in Munich can help improve your German language proficiency which pays off when you enter the job market.
- Top of the list for earnings potential was German, which has an average salary of $109,000/year
- The wage premium for college graduates who can speak German is 4%. With a $60K salary that amounts to $260,000
when compounded over 30 years
- Employers are willing to pay more if you speak a second language since American businesses lose almost $2 billion/year because of language or cultural misunderstandings
|Career||Median salary||Market growth|
|Marketing manager||$132,230||10% to 14%|
|Sales manager||$121,060||5% to 9%|
|Lawyer||$119,250||5% to 9%|
|International law||$115,820||5% to 8%|
|Purchasing manager||$115,760||5% to 9%|
|Global supply chain manager||$105,610||5% to 9%|
|Compliance manager||$105,610||5% to 9%|
|Human resources manager||$104,440||9% to 13%|
|Foreign service officer||$94,170||10%|
|Global logistics manager||$92,460||5% to 9%|
|Industrial engineer||$85,880||10% to 14%|
|University professor||$65,010||10% to 14%|
|Post-secondary teacher||$61,380||9% to 13%|
|Archivist||$51,760||10% to 14%|
|Bilingual educator K-12||$50,434||10%|
|Paralegal, legal assistant||$50,410||15% or higher|
|Interpreters and translators||$44,190||14%|
International careers begin with JYM
If you're serious about becoming fluent in German and want to learn marketable global competency skills that'll help you land a job after graduation, you should study abroad for a year if your schedule permits. How long you study abroad does make a difference (see Gaining an Employment Edge - The Impact of Study Abroad)!
As you plan for your Junior Year in Munich experience, we recommend that you set some goals. What do you want to learn? What do you want to experience? What do you want to accomplish? And how will those goals advance your career objectives? For some students, obtaining an internship while on JYM helped them find employment after graduation. For others, it was having participated in unique extracurricular activities that they could highlight on their résumé. And for others, it was their ability to digest and communicate the many dimensions of their journey abroad. Everyone's path will be different and there's no one-size-fits-all path to follow.
Pro tip: You'll help yourself immensely if you can document something on your résumé that stands out (experiences, involvement or engagement, certified language proficiency, IKK certificate, etc.).
After your JYM year/semester, we encourage you to build upon your cross-cultural experiences and German language skills as you make your career decisions. See career sources for more information on jobs, internships and post-graduate fellowships.
This degree also provides a solid foundation for graduate study in:
- M.A. or Ph.D. in area studies, language, second language acquisition, sociology, psychology, etc.
- M.A. or Ph.D. in higher education, K-12 or student affairs
- Medical school
- Law school
Notable people who lived or studied in Munich
- Wangari Muta Maathai Kenyan social, environmental and political activist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Studied at the LMU in 1968
- Jonathan Franzen Novelist, essayist, National Book Award Winner and JYM alumnus. Studied at the LMU in 1979-80
- Donna Summer American singer and songwriter, joined a German adaptation of the musical Hair in Munich in 1968 and spent several years living, acting and singing there
- Freddie Mercury Lead Queen singer who was a regular visitor to Munich between 1979-85 and recorded at Musicland Studios in the basement of the Arabella House
Many students have found careers that built upon their JYM experience. Here's a sampling of where some have ended up not long after graduation (some have since been promoted).
|Maria||Head of human resource governance, strategy and lean management||Daimler AG, Stuttgart||Wayne State University|
|Jonathan||Plant project manager, executive assistant plant manager's office||Detroit Diesel||Wayne State University|
|Jason||Supplier management, vendor scheduling||Detroit Diesel||Wayne State University|
|Julie||Public relations and marketing||TASCHEN Verlag, New York||Wayne State University|
|Halyna||Compliance project manager||Daimler AG, Stuttgart||Wayne State University|
|Stephen||Controller||Munich Re Group, Munich||Wayne State University|
|Lena||Head of administration||Graduate School of Systemic Neuroscience, LMU Munich BioZentrum||Wayne State University|
|Karena||Manager||Global Marketing and Communications, Berlin||George Washington University|
|Morgan||International project coordinator||EVOLVO, Milan Italy||James Madison University|
|Lenore||Content and communications manager||InterNations, Munich||College of William & Mary|
|Sabrina||Sales specialist||Direct Markets at ESCADA, Munich||University of San Francisco|
|Tyler||Organizational development manager||Bosch-Siemens Haushaltgeräte (BSH) Home Appliances Corporation, Irvine California||Mary Washington University|
|Beth||Program director||Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals at Cultural Vistas, New York||University of Minnesota, Twin Cities|
|James||Manager, delegations and energy projects||German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Chicago||Miami University of Ohio|
|Morgan||Manager||German American Service, Inc., Chicago||American University|
|Shelley||Service coordinator||Siemens Industry, St. Louis||Truman State University|
|Heidi||Program coordinator||Center for Transatlantic Relations, Washington DC||University of Colorado, Boulder|