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German Studies

You will cross disciplines to study the language, literature, culture, historical development and politics of German-speaking countries and emerge prepared for graduate school or a range of careers. Your professors will encourage you to participate in an exchange program with the University of Dortmund.

Brenna Corrigan ’14
Brenna Corrigan '14

A student’s niche: marketing a language

Brenna Corrigan ’14 followed her interests, not an agenda, when she double-majored in German studies and world politics. Still, she is convinced her pursuits at Hamilton College will help her build a marketing career in the auto industry.

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During a semester in Munich, Corrigan did a project that looked at the relationship between the German government and the development of the alternative auto industry. In 2012, she landed a summer internship at BMW’s North American headquarters, where she translated emails for her boss, who didn’t speak German.

Corrigan says she may head to graduate school for business someday, but for now, she wants to launch a career.

First – she has two senior theses to write. For German studies she will examine the concept of duty and how it affects the lives of two women in two works of literature by Thomas Mann and Theodore Fontane. For world politics, Corrigan is thinking about building on the project she did in Munich.


Emily Johnston '10 in Germany.

A graduate’s progress: building a business

Emily Johnston ’10 wasn’t thinking about jobs when she chose German as one of her majors (history is the other) at Hamilton College, but her affinity for the language helped inspire a career.  She is parlaying her language and knowledge of Germany into her own business, Wanderlust Travels, a summer program in Germany for high school students.

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Her knowledge of all things German was fueled by a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship there, which she embarked on right after college graduation. After the fellowship ended, she stayed an extra year in Germany, taking classes in organic chemistry, anatomy and other subjects related to her interest in Eastern medicine. Johnston continues to study Eastern medicine as she builds her business.

It sounds corny, she acknowledges, but a big motivator for her business is to share the kind of experiences Hamilton helped bring her.