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Olin Hall, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Graduate Career Services

Ph.D Alumni Spotlight -Shawn Huelle

Name: Shawn Huelle
Current Job Title: Lecturer
Name of Organization: Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Bachelor's Degree: BA in English & German from Doane College in Crete, NE
Graduate Degree #1: MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Graduate Degree #2: PhD from DU

Shawn Huelle

Interview

What does your current position entail?

I teach full time in the Sprachpraxis (language skills) section of the English department at the University of Tübingen in Germany. A full-time teaching load in Sprachpraxis is seven classes. Classes meet once a week for 90 minutes. This semester, I am teaching two sections each of Written Communication 1 (which is very similar to WRIT1122 at DU), Written Communication 2 (which I am teaching as a creative writing workshop, something that has not been offered at the University of Tübingen since the 1970s), and Oral Communication 2. I am also teaching one section of Translation 1.

How did you get your current position?
I came to the University of Tübingen via the Teach@Tübingen program, to which I applied  through DU's Office of Internationalization. While teaching here and working on my dissertation, a position opened up in Sprachpraxis, and I applied for it.

In relation to graduation, when did you start the job search and when did you secure your position?
I think it would be unfair to talk about the way I got this job in terms of a "job search." What I did instead was make use of opportunities presented by DU's Office of Internationalization, which then led to other opportunities.

In regards to the job search process, did anything surprise you?
I am always surprised by how any amount of planning can be rendered moot by being in the right place at the right time (which isn't so much about coincidence as it is about keeping an open mind (as well as open eyes, ears, etc.)).

What recommendations do you have for current students?
Pay attention to possible opportunities outside of your standard expectations.

Which aspects of your background have been most helpful in your current position?
The most helpful thing to me in my current position is my ability to speak a second language. Beyond that, the fact that my education always (even before I started paying attention and steering it in this direction) contained a healthy dose of the arts has allowed me think about any number of things in a creative, critical, and often unconventional way.