Abigail Goertzen’s interest in French began well before she came to Missouri State through her grandmother, a retired French teacher. She learned a lot about the language and culture from a young age and began to take classes in high school. Her love for the language and existing transfer credits made choosing to study French with the department of modern and classical languages the best possible choice. Goertzen graduated summa cum laude in the Spring of 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Modern Language and a minor in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Having found several work opportunities after her graduation, Goertzen says that people looking to major in a foreign language should “Do it! Don’t worry about not being able to find work, many jobs see it as a valuable asset and life skill. Other specialized skills for jobs can be learned later; language knowledge is unique.”
Goertzen chose Missouri State because it was the perfect distance from her home town—far enough to feel independent but close enough to visit her family when she wanted. During her undergraduate studies she was involved in French Club, Running Club, and Missouri State Improv. One of Goertzen’s favorite memories is being paired with a random roommate in Wells House who went on to become her best friend and someone she’s still close with. She also had the opportunity to study abroad for a semester in the Spring of 2018 at the Centre de Linguistique Appliquée in Besancon, France.
“It’s best to know that no decisions can’t be changed later if that’s what you want. And no amount of external (or internal) pressure can take that away.” —Abigail Goertzen
After graduating, Goertzen was accepted to the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) which allows young adults to teach English in French schools. She decided it wasn’t the right choice for her at the time and stayed in Kansas City to work at Garmin as a French Bilingual Product Support Associate assisting French-speaking customers living in Quebec. Goertzen has worked for Garmin for over a year and was recently promoted to Product Support Associate II. She isn’t quite sure what she plans to do in the future, though graduate school is a possibility. Goertzen says “I think sometimes it’s best to take things one step at a time. You don’t have to have everything figured out.”
When asked what advice she would give to herself as an undergraduate, Goertzen said “Don’t sweat the small stuff! Take this time to have new experiences and learn about yourself. Let loose the reigns a little bit more and let life happen.”