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What Can I Do With A French Major?

Career Opportunities for French Majors

Many students are interested in studying French in college because they have an interest or passion for the French Language and Francophone culture. However, students may not be aware of the job options that await them after graduation. The following are lists of career paths that French majors across the country have pursued:

Business

  • Business/Customer Service Manager
  • Business/Management Trainee
  • Bilingual Technical Support Specialist
  • Human Resource Director/Specialist/Trainer
  • Insurance Consultant
  • Buying Trainee for major department store
  • Intern for major French bank
  • Executive/Administrative Assistant
  • Bilingual Call Center Representative
  • Financial/Research/Business Analyst
  • Insurance Associate/Consultant
  • Property Manager for large residential/commercial property management company
  • Analyst/Junior Associate for international financial services firm
  • Marketing/Sales Representative for international company

Communications

  • Assistant News Analyst
  • Technical Writer for computer company
  • Production Assistant for major TV network
  • Marketing Coordinator for local TV/radio corp.
  • News Anchor/Reporter
  • Film & Video/Book Editor
  • Freelance Translator
  • Editorial Assistant for independent book publisher

Education

  • Early Childhood Family Educator
  • Middle/High School French Teacher
  • Community College/University Professor
  • Librarian
  • Research Assistant/Associate
  • College Admissions Officer/Counselor
  • University Grant Writer
  • ESL Teacher/Assistant abroad

Hospitality / Recreation

  • Tour Guide/Consultant
  • Sales Coordinator for international hotel company
  • Innkeeper
  • Guest Services Agent with a large hotel chain
  • Public Relations assistant for French restaurant
  • Marketing Assistant for national sports league
  • Major Gifts Assistant at city museum
  • Flight Attendant

Government / Law / Social Service

  • [Military] Intelligence Officer
  • Program Assistant for U.S. Supreme Court
  • Public Health Data Analyst
  • Social Worker
  • Attorney/Legal Editor
  • International Trade Specialist (Dept of Agriculture)
  • Legal Assistant/Paralegal (corporate, private practice, abroad)

Temporary / Time-Limited Opportunities (3 months-2 years)

  • Peace Corps
  • AmeriCorps
  • Rotary Scholarship
  • Fulbright Scholarship
  • Teach for America
  • Federal Government Internship programs

Career Resources at UMD

Career profiles for alumni and current French students at UMD: Career Services Center: Study Abroad.

Other Considerations for French Majors

Internships
An internship is the first step you take in your professional career, which provides you with vital job experience. Internships are available for students both during college and immediately following graduation. They can often lead to full-time job offers after graduation! Visit Career Services to get help with finding and obtaining internship opportunities.

Getting Experience in College
Being able to speak French fluently is the primary skill you are gaining from this degree, so you want to get as much practice as possible. Studying abroad and getting involved with the Francophone community in the area are great ways to enhance your speaking skills (and your grades). They are also excellent ways to gain more cultural knowledge, network in the community, and build leadership skills that you can bring to your career.

Graduate School Options
You can study French as an undergraduate and combine it with another career field in graduate school. Some programs may require you to take prerequisites before attending, so be sure to do your research and identify the necessary steps for a smooth transition. In addition to continuing your degree by pursuing graduate work in French, you may also consider:

  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Public Health
  • Medical School
  • International Affairs
  • Law School
  • Psychology/Counseling
  • Social Work
  • K-12 Education/ESL
  • Higher Education Administration

Careers with the Federal Government
Only 16% of Federal jobs are in Washington DC and the rest are available across the nation and abroad! The U.S. government offers internships and full-time positions. Many departments work with foreign constituents and prefer or require an applicant with language skills. Students in foreign language often apply for Foreign Service Officer or Linguist positions, but there are a large variety of entry-level jobs available from the Department of State and Department of Commerce, to the Department of Health & Human Services. Visit Career Services, or go to www.makingthedifference.org, to learn more.

Business
Business is a large field that has a number of opportunities for students with a liberal arts degree. Combining your French major with a Business minor or major can broaden your options in this field, but is not necessarily required. The ability to speak French can be desirable for U.S. companies that have a presence in France or are owned by a French company.

French Companies with a U.S. Presence

  • Accor (hotels)
  • Air France
  • Air Liquide
  • BNP Paribas (bank)
  • Certainteed
  • Crédit Agricole (bank)
  • Danone
  • L'Oréal
  • Michelin
  • Renault
  • Sanofi-Aventis
  • Sodexo
  • Thomson, Inc. (RCA, General Electric)
  • Vivendi


American Companies with a Presence in France

  • AT&T
  • Bank of America
  • Caterpillar (Construction)
  • Cargill International
  • Citigroup
  • Covance (Biotech/Pharmaceutical)
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation
  • Hewlett Packard
  • IBM
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • JP Morgan Chase

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