Prospective Students

Francisco J. Rodriguez Casado

Francisco J. Rodriguez CasadoGraduation Year: 2017

Major: German Language and Literature

Minor: Comparative Literature

Why did you choose German as your major?

As I was studying other sciences like engineering and biology (in a different school), I began reading Kafka, Kant, and Freud’s “Interpretation of Dreams”. The works were in English, yet I thought it to be unfair to the writers for me to read their work in a foreign language. So I began learning German and loved it.

What did you like most about it?

The people you meet in the German department are extraordinary. The staff is caring and really provide amazing professional advice. They guide you through the semesters and turn a would-be-nearly endless campus to a close, focused circle. Rutgers loses its towering, giant effect and becomes your second home.

What is your current position, what do you, and what do you enjoy most about it?

I am currently 2 semesters away from finishing my second bachelor’s degree in nursing science. My initial goal was to become a professor and perform more research regarding language acquisition (thank you Professor Pichugin), but then I was exposed to the art of nursing and, to my surprise, discovered a new-found passion: healthcare science. I still practice German. Studying the language made me a more complete individual.

What was your first job after Rutgers and how did you get it?

My first job after Rutgers was as a home health aide. I needed to save money to pass my teacher certification, so in the meantime I worked in a different field. Little did I know, that experience would change everything. One of my professors recommended me for the position. I thank the German department greatly for that gesture.

How did you move from that first job to your current position?

I moved to Florida, now I study full time and work part time in Jupiter Medical Center’s emergency department. As a patient care tech, I aide non-English speakers and their nurses. I’m assigned German speakers and Spanish speakers. Gratefully, my language skills have opened the professional doors that would have been otherwise locked.

Looking back, what classes or experiences at Rutgers would you point to as contributing to your successes?

I really wish I could have taken every German class. Each professor has something significant to contribute. For instance, I am more critical about my work (academic or professional) due to Professor Pichugin’s strict academic regimen. I feel that my writing is more creative after working with Professor Bergmann and Professor Pfeifer. I think twice before giving into lazy speech after my class with Professor Levine. I follow Kant’s deontology principles regarding healthcare (even today!) after Professor Rennie’s course. Professor Glowacki crystallized my German grammar. I know I’m missing many names! I miss you all. I will visit next year after I obtain my nursing license.

What advice do you have for our current Arts and Sciences students?

In 2016, I was in the park and ran into Professor Henry Sussman. You’d be lucky if he visited Rutgers University during your stay. He told me (and I pass this on to you): “Be the ultimate you. Be the best version of yourself, yet have fun doing it. If you choose to study German, have fun with it. It’s not meant to be stressful. Studying and mastering a concept should feel fun, so make it fun.” That’s the gist of what he told me anyway. I’ll never forget that. Thank you.



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