Clyde Tuggle, Coca-Cola’s senior vice president and chief public affairs officer, knows what he talks about when he describes foreign languages as crucial skills in today’s global environment: He states that his undergraduate degrees in German and economics (as well as a master’s in divinity) made him better prepared for his career at a globally operating corporation than many business majors. ASC German students have their various German professors emphasize the importance of foreign language learning quite often, but in Clyde Tuggle you encounter someone who knows what the competition out there looks like when it comes to hiring, and read what he says about foreign language learning:
To serve an organization like Coca-Cola, “you need to speak a minimum of two foreign languages,” he said, “and have international experience. You need to see yourself as a citizen of the world — think like a Moroccan and see the world from that point of view — or you are behind the curve. You need the cultural skill to walk into any space and be comfortable, to blend into the environment.”
Yes, that’s a “minimum” of two foreign languages! You want to read more? Check out what Mr. Tuggle said to the students at Washington and Lee University.
Oktoberfest, beer, and blue-eyed, blond people dancing to oompah music–anyone who is involved in the teaching or promotion of German language and culture in the US has encountered these stereotypes and has probably felt torn between catering to them and deconstructing them.