Portadown College Languages department welcomed former college student Mrs Karen Argue from Ulster Carpets to inform and enthuse language students about the application of their linguistic skills in the wider world.
Karen is employed as a Contract Sales Executive in Ulster Carpets, a renowned local company that operates globally. She studied French and German to A Level and went on to do a Joint Honours Degree in French and German in Queen’s University Belfast. Karen later completed a Masters in German while working, as well as a work placement in the headquarters of Audi in Germany.
Karen pointed out that having language skills benefits a wide range of jobs such as editing, journalism and even nursing. She feels that studying languages gives you an eye for detail and that it is not just about a school subject but a ‘communication tool’ that improves your written and presentation skills, even in English.
She uses French and German on a regular basis to do sales presentations or communicate with customers and her language skills have brought new business to the company. Students were encouraged to hear that local companies really need more employees with languages; Karen advised them that having a language would be a strong selling point when it comes to entering the job market.
This was music to the ears of Year 14 student Tom Freeburn who has applied to study International Business with Modern Languages at QUB, stating: “You don’t know where languages are going to take you, but it opens a lot of doors for you.”
Students enjoyed hearing about the application of languages in the workplace and thanked Karen warmly for her time.