Our amazing alumni community includes teachers, counselors, translators, Ph.D graduates, entrepreneurs, healthcare practitioners, and much more!
Join Us and Stay Connected
Lifelong and worldwide, the UCLA Spanish & Portuguese Undergraduate Alumni Network is an invaluable professional and personal resource. Stay connected with friends, colleagues, staff, and faculty, and stay up to date on department happenings through our alumni-exclusive listserv. Email the Undergraduate Advisor to be added.
Get Involved and Give Back
Alumni enrich our community by sharing their time and expertise through lectures, events, and more. Please email us if you are interested in participating in panel discussions, networking, mentorship, undergraduate outreach events, etc. We want to recognize and celebrate your professional achievements!
The support of our Alumni, partners, and friends is vital to the continued excellence of our undergraduate program, enabling us to support students and faculty in our various areas of research, public humanities, and community engagement. Please give today so that we can continue to enroll and support our remarkable students, attract and retain the nation’s top faculty, and fund the work that keeps us at the forefront of the humanities!
Alumni Career Spotlight Survey
We would like to feature our wonderful alumni and their post-UCLA adventures on our website. If you are interested in sharing your career journey and a few words of career advice with undergraduates in the UCLA Department of Spanish & Portuguese, please take five minutes to submit your response to this survey!
Share with us what you have been up to since graduating from our Department and how your major/minor impacted your current career. We want to hear from you!
Our Alumni, in Their Own Words
Faiz Pirani, Student, Columbia Law School
“What I loved about my time in the Spanish department was the wide array of voices and ideas within the texts we read. I remember not knowing what I wanted to do with my life in college, but I did know that the conversations we would have in class about injustice, class inequality, and marginalization made me passionate and curious. Finding the ideas that evoke my curiosity has helped me craft a career path that feels right for me, and it might help you!”
Lauren Grubaugh Thomas, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Associate Rector for Discipleship and Formation
“After completing my degree in Spanish, I went on to work at Homeboy Industries, helping men and women exit the cycle of gang violence and incarceration. Having the ability to speak other languages and graciously navigate other cultures will allow you endless possibilities in any career you choose! Your language abilities and cultural competency will help you to build trusting relationships and -to be in solidarity with people whose rights need to be protected.”
Elizabeth Cervantes, Palomar College Disability Resource Center/Student Support Specialist II
“I was a transfer student from Mesa College in San Diego to UCLA. I was lucky enough to be able to explore my interests in community college, which led me to choose Spanish as my major. While studying at UCLA, I volunteered as a tutor for Project Literacy and have worked in the field of education ever since. My degree and Spanish major on my resume are a big draw to employers.”
Gloria S Garcia Cisneros, BWM Financial/Associate Wealth Advisor
“My Spanish community and culture degree allowed me to learn about my own journey and roots on a deeper level. It allowed me to feel seen on a campus where I was a minority. The classes went beyond textbooks and bridged gaps to help me understand systemic problems in society that I had never understood. Once I had a deeper understanding of my roots, my community, and its needs I was able to identify how my degree in math could intertwine with my degree in Spanish as I looked for an ideal career.”
Mariam Carson, Medical Student, University of California, San Francisco
“My time in the Spanish & Portuguese department was instrumental to my time at UCLA and my career path. I started learning Spanish in a bilingual middle school, and I wanted to continue learning through college. I knew I wanted to incorporate both language and STEM in my career, and minoring in Spanish at UCLA allowed me to continue refining this skill while taking engineering courses. Now, I use Spanish frequently when communicating with patients and analyzing qualitative research transcripts.”
Daniela X. Sandoval, Social Media Coordinator
“At its core, my degree in Spanish Community and Culture provided me with perspective when it comes to developing stories. I am currently a social media coordinator which requires storytelling and community management skills. Overall, my major provided me with the skills to think beyond my own lived experiences.”
Nancy Valencia, Elementary School Teacher
“I studied Spanish at UCLA to learn how to speak it and write it “properly” and along the way I came across service learning and linguistics courses that showed me the value of Spanish. I translated documents for people and worked with the community. I fell in love with Spanish literature and even considered applying for a Ph.D. in Spanish (that is still an option), but I decided to give teaching a chance. Thanks to my undergraduate degree in Spanish I am able to teach a dual-language immersion class and teach both native and non-native speakers.”
Laura Czerniecki, Immigration Center for Women and Children/Legal Assistant
“My undergraduate degree in the Spanish and Portuguese department strengthened my linguistic skills, making me a more competitive applicant. If you are public-interest-minded, I highly recommend the Spanish and Portuguese Department’s Community Internship Courses. These courses are a great space to connect academia, community service, and professional development. This encourages self-reflection, which helps define the organizational values important to you, as well as gaps in policy and their impacts on marginalized communities you may find particularly compelling – all of which will provide direction and clarity as you create your career path.”