This time around, we’re shining the alumni spotlight on Addie Weller who graduated from PSU in 2015. In addition to her English degree, she completed a Spanish minor and a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certificate.
Addie has had quite an interesting journey since she graduated from Plymouth State in 2015! Currently, she lives in China and teaches English to primary students. How did she go from PSU all the way to China? Here’s what Addie had to say about her experiences so far:
“I’ve always been interested in other cultures. One of my favorite classes at PSU was Global Literature because we not only read stories from different parts of the world, we also really dug into the “backbone” of these stories— the places, the languages, and the experiences that shaped an author and their story. With my interest in experiencing other cultures, I thought teaching abroad would be a perfect way to start. But, I’ll admit, I was scared to go for it, especially with all the pressure I felt to find a “real” job after graduation. I ended up doing just that— following graduation, I was hired as a Customer Support Representative at HubSpot, a marketing software company in Portsmouth, NH. The company was (and still is) great, and I learned so much, but it never felt like the right “fit” for me. I didn’t care about software; I wanted to do something more fulfilling. So, I went back to the drawing board and started exploring positions teaching abroad. I decided to apply for jobs in Asia not only because of the high demand for English teachers, but because of my desire for a cultural experience so different from my own, too. After several interviews with a teaching agency based in China, I ended up getting hired. Now, I’m teaching English to primary students (grades 1-3) in Xi’an, China. Although it can be challenging being in a country where you understand very little of the language, the people (especially my students) are so generous and kind— they make this experience worthwhile.”
Addie has been very successful since her departure from PSU and her story is just one example of the adventures English majors can embark on after graduation. As for some advice to her past self (and even present and prospective students), Addie mused that she wished she would have been more active on campus.
“Get involved on campus any way you can, as soon as you can. PSU wouldn’t be the strong community it is today without the collaboration of students, faculty, staff, and local businesses. Whether it’s writing an article for The Clock, working in the HUB, or volunteering at the local food pantry, contributing to PSU outside the classroom will make your college experience all the more memorable.”
And just a little something to end with, Addie’s favorite quote is this little gem from poet Rumi:
“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.”
Do you have a PSU English alumni story to share? If so, please contact us! We’d love to feature you in The Canon!