Professional Advising

Majors in the Department of Second Language Studies are required to attend regular advising sessions with an SLS advisor at least once every semester. In addition to creating and maintaining an academic plan, one of the goals of this process is to start students on a path towards professional development, such as:

  • Discussing opportunities for gaining experience related to their interests in SLS — often this involves teaching or translating, or otherwise applying the knowledge and skills of the SLS major before receiving a BA degree.
  • Begin compiling materials and information that will make up a professional portfolio, one of the components of the SLS 485 capstone course. A professional portfolio is also an invaluable tool for successfully finding a job in one of the many fields related to SLS, and can also be helpful for applying to graduate school.

An additional goal of professional advising is to discuss what path students might take after earning their BA in SLS. Many students want start gaining experience immediately in the field. Others might see value in continuing on to an advanced degree, either within the internationally recognized Department of SLS Graduate program or other similar programs around the world.

Working with an advisor, students can better understand the possibilities and trade-offs involved with either choice and decide on a path that is best suited for them and their interests.

Why do I need professional development when I’m still a student?

Being a professional in the field of SLS does not have to begin only after you’ve received your degree. Gaining experience early and developing a well-rounded, representative professional portfolio can help you connect what you are learning now to potential career opportunities in the future. By engaging in professional development early, you will be more competitive in the job market and more confident in your proven abilities.  Additionally, you’ll have a strong portfolio that provides an accurate portrayal of who you are as a professional to future employers.

For information on setting up an advising session, please contact the SLS BA Coordinator (kenton@hawaii.edu).