The French Program invites each year representatives from international companies
located in the Richmond area who use foreign languages in their careers to discuss
their perspectives on languages in the workplace and in their personal lives. This
forum allows students to meet and interact with the speakers after their presentations
and hear about real life applications of learning foreign languages. In the past
years, we have welcomed executives and staff from international companies located
in the Richmond area among other cities in the States.
In 2010, representatives from Mondial Assistance (Allianz), the Virginia Museum
of Fine Arts, Alstom and Bergdorf Goodman came to explain the role studying a foreign
language played in their lives and careers. Specifically, Richard B. Woodward, Senior
Deputy Director and Curator of African Art at VMFA, talked about how his French
studies took him on a career path to Africa and to becoming a specialist in African
art. Katherine Harned, R-MC alumna and currently a Valentino Business Manager, presented
on how studying French helped her in overseeing the Valentino Brand at Bergdorf
Goodman. She emphasized the fact that her training in French language and culture
is an asset in her position, as she travels to France on a regular basis.
In 2011, Mr. Rienhold, President of Evonik, a German based chemical company located
in Richmond, Mr. Willis, representative from Mondial Assistance, and Mrs. Thurston,
manager at Wells Fargo, came to discuss the importance of learning and mastering
a foreign language in the field of International business.