| by Don Hansen MATESOL '16


Don Hansen MATESOL '16
Don Hansen MATESOL ‘16

Middlebury Institute graduates discuss where they are working today, how the Institute helped them get there, and what advice they’d give to current and future MIIS students.

My name is Don Hansen and I graduated with an MA in TESOL from the Middlebury Institute in 2016. My language of study was Spanish. After graduation, I served as a global teaching lecturer at Tokyo International University (TIU) in Kawagoe, Japan, and am now a TESOL professor at Brigham Young University - Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho.

In the spring of 2016, while I was still a student at MIIS, I attended the TESOL Convention in Baltimore, Md. At the convention, I interviewed with TIU and they asked me to reapply when I graduated. 

A couple of stellar Institute graduates were working at TIU and had made a name for themselves—the reputation they had established for MIIS alumni really helped when I reapplied. TIU even flew their English plaza director out to Monterey to meet with my TESOL cohort. I also received crucial insights and pointers from a friend who worked at Google, and my uncle who worked for Procter & Gamble.

I graduated in December 2016 and began working at TIU in Japan in March 2017.

Build Relationships with Your Professors

My main advice for current students is to focus on your relationships with your professors more than on your grades. Keep asking for feedback on your CV/resume and elevator pitch/interview introduction. Know your market and fashion your experience and strengths toward the jobs that you’ve targeted. Don’t just show them that you’re a good hire, show them that you’re the right hire who can add value to their institution.

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