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French at Carthage

Student Voices

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Jade Eckert ’17


Racine, Wisconsin


French, Finance

Favorite spot on campus

“One of my favorite spots on campus has to be the tables in Lentz Hall by the big window overlooking the lake. I am amazed at the view from that window; I am able to really focus there because it always has a calming, quiet feeling to it.”

Jade Eckert chose to attend Carthage for a variety of reasons. “I chose Carthage because of the guarantee of smaller class sizes. The small student-to-professor ratio allows for students to easily connect with professors and the subject area of the class, whether it is during a simple class discussion, or getting extra help outside of class,” she said. “Another reason I chose Carthage is because of the great things I heard about the French language department and the professors. Lastly, I chose Carthage because it was close to home and my ballet studio. I can easily continue studying ballet and continue my friendships there.”

Jade is excited to explore classes in two different areas of study during her time at Carthage. “Double majoring in business and French, or another foreign language, opens many doors in the business world in terms of companies that work internationally and seek employees with proficiency in other languages.”

Career goal

“After I graduate from Carthage, I hope to go on and earn a master’s degree. I am not sure of an exact career goal, however, I am generally hoping to become part of a company in which I can easily incorporate both of my majors. Perhaps that would include working for an international company.”

Favorite professor

“I have multiple professors who have made an impact on my Carthage career. The first two would have to be Professor Pascal Rollet and Professor Isabel Rivero-Villa. I feel that I have learned and improved so much from them in just my first two semesters at Carthage. They’ve both opened my eyes to many ways in which you can expand your knowledge of the French language, and they challenge their students and provide great opportunities for us to succeed. The next two professors who have had an impact on me are Professor Victoria Montanaro and Professor Colleen O’Brien. They have both been great mentors in helping me confirm and continue with my major in finance.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class so far at Carthage was the French class I took my first semester at here, French Speaking World: Social Political, and Economic Issues. I enjoyed learning about France, as well as Senegal and Quebec. This class challenged me in all areas of learning a language, especially speaking. Completing my first 8- to 10-minute speech in French about my research paper for our final project was an accomplishment.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class would also have to be French Speaking World: Social Political, and Economic Issues. Again, it really challenged me in all areas of learning a language. I realized that I had already experienced everything in terms of speaking, reading, and writing, however, I had never experienced it in such huge amounts. It was my first French class where grammar was not a major part of class; I had to quickly put all my acquired skills to use. Although I enjoyed learning about three different countries, it was difficult to clearly understand the different social, political, and economical structures of France, Senegal, and Quebec.”


“I am currently doing my first internship with a company called Conntek Integrated Solutions. Even though I am assisting with basic office work and working with their two main systems of data entry, it is surprising how much I have learned. My Excel skills from my business courses at Carthage have definitely come into use as well. The most exciting part of the internship so far has been assisting with several French translations for instructions and warnings for their products because the company does work internationally.”

Campus involvement

“The one club that I have dedicated some time to is French Club. I enjoyed attending the meetings and French lunch tables. I also liked helping with other club activities, such as Family Fun Night and our trip to Milwaukee to explore the Third Ward and eat at Coquette Cafe. I was elected French Club president for the 2014-2015 school year, so I am eager to be involved in French Club again.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“One of my favorite Carthage memories has to be when French Club took a trip to Milwaukee to explore the Third Ward and eat at Coquette Cafe. It was something different to do outside of the classroom and regular club meetings. I hope to carry activities like this into the upcoming year as French Club president.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“The biggest surprise so far has been how easy it has been to talk to professors, whether it is about regular class assignments, extra work you are completing for the class, or for help with material that you do not understand. Coming from a very small high school, I was impressed with the guarantee of small class sizes, as well as the easy connections with professors at Carthage.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“My 8-year-old self would probably wonder Why French, and even more, why finance? Multiplication is hard enough right now! I really never expected that taking my first French class in fifth grade would take me to working toward a major in French.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“Advice that I would give to other students considering majoring in finance and/or French would be to just stick with it. You may have some seemingly challenging classes in the beginning of your Carthage career because the material is all new, especially if you have had no business classes previously. Work hard and push through those challenging areas because you will find that you have learned so much in the end.”


Haley Meents ’15
  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2018), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Modern Languages Professor Pascal Rollet writes songs that highlight grammar points in French and Spanish. He uses software to merge synthesized instruments, guitar, and vocals into tunes a college audience can tolerate, and learn from.

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …