Lona Sniderman ’19 was determined to land a summer internship at a research institution in Barcelona, and when she saw an opening to outshine the competition during a Skype interview for the job, she took it.
“The employer got on the Skype call and said, ‘OK, I want to practice Spanish with you. I want to make sure your Spanish skills are equipped for this job,’” Sniderman recounts. “And I said, ‘OK, why don’t we just do the whole interview in Spanish?”
Major: Foreign Languages
Hometown: Bernardsville, N.J.
High School: West Morris Central High School
She got the internship. One reason she wanted it so intensely was to acquire international work experience and focus on Spanish before she started her junior year, when she plans to spend a semester in China. She’s loved Spanish since she first took it in high school. Heading into Hamilton, she decided would study Mandarin there.
“I had no idea what I was getting into with Chinese. I had no idea of the rigor of the Hamilton College Chinese program. And it was really difficult at first. I actually really considered dropping Chinese I was just struggling so much,” Sniderman says.
But a professor told her she was doing well for someone who’d never studied the language before, and Sniderman hung in there. “With that confidence and support, I soon gained a huge passion for the language and started loving it,” she says.
She continues to study Spanish, too, pursuing both languages through Hamilton’s foreign languages major. Her summer internship in Spain sparked an interest in working for an international business, ideally in international public relations, after she graduates. “I realized how versatile job opportunities can be when you have three languages under your belt,” Sniderman says.
Hamilton has a rigorous Chinese language program in Beijing , China.