We Are Harper: Kim Dang
- March 19, 2019
- March 19, 2019
Name: Kim Dang
Area of Study: World Languages (Spanish)
Program/Career: Administrative Coordinator at Avison Young
One Word That Describes You: Dedicated
Hobbies: Traveling, cooking, baking, reading, spending time with family and friends.
What led you to Harper College?
I was a single mother of two girls at a young age, so I did not attend college because I had to work. As the years went by, it never occurred to me to go back to school because I had my hands full with my family and work commitments. However, as my kids entered junior high and high school and we started talking about the future, I realized that I couldn’t tell them they had to attend college if I didn’t have a degree of my own. This insight drove me to look into taking classes locally.
I live in-district, but I work in another college district. It was convenient to attend classes in the district where I worked, so I went through all the motions to apply and register for classes. What inspired my decision to attend Harper was the way I was treated by the other college’s world languages department.
After I took another college’s language placement test, I received a call from their department chair with my results. Instead of allowing me to register for Spanish, they told me to pick another language. When I asked why, they said that I did extremely well and there was no need to retake the same language. I told them that I took 4 years of Spanish in high school, from which I had graduated 15 years earlier, but would like to retake it in order to refresh and improve my language skills. They did not back down from their decision, so instead of wasting my time and fighting with them, I registered at Harper with no issues and the rest is history.
What path did you take after graduating from Harper?
After graduating from Harper, I took a year off from school because I was having a hard time finding universities that offered online degrees that catered to my schedule. Eventually I enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2017.
What led you to your career at Avison Young?
With my long work experience, I have honed superior organization and time management skills, which has proven to be very helpful in everything that I do. Furthermore, I have always been a people person, and I like helping others.
In my current field, I optimize office operations by providing support to the office staff of a global commercial real estate company. Whether I am doing light IT troubleshooting or assisting with special projects, the best part of this job is that every day is different and it is a constant adventure.
What is your fondest memory at Harper College?
There are so many to choose from, but my fondest memory at Harper was taking Spanish class. I made many new friends, and I will never forget the camaraderie and fun we had during those classes, as well as the things we learned.
What advice do you have for future students interested in studying World Languages?
My advice is that if you are going to learn a world language, don’t be afraid to immerse yourself in their culture as well. I truly believe that one of the most rewarding parts of learning a world language is that it helps us to connect with people. When I speak Spanish to native speakers, it immediately transforms the way they perceive me, from an outsider to a friend. This allows me to build trust more quickly and to establish a stronger relationship with them.
“Profe” Linda Schumacher. She is a passionate instructor who finds ways to engage students and provides memorable class experiences.