Senior Spotlight: Yovita Poerwanto, Class of 2019

Why did you choose to study Linguistics?

I’ll be honest, I don’t remember why I chose Linguistics. I remembered majoring in Engineering and getting very very bored. I love technical sciences like that, but it just didn’t spark any interest in me for some reason. So, I hopped between majors for awhile, kind of  testing each out, and seeing which one I lasted in. I tried teaching, math, computer science, and physics before going for Linguistics. And, well, hello, here I am, already graduated in psycholinguistics and math. I didn’t regret anything, though. I’ve always loved languages, and linguistics is a perfect blend between the “hard” and “technical” science-y stuff, and the more “abstract” nature of languages and art.

What was your favorite LING course at UVM?

Second Language Acquisition! I relate so much to that subject because I came to the U.S. with limited working English . So, the class kind of gave me all the information on how people like me acquire another language, and how to “improve” in a sense.

Do you have any advice for current or prospective students?

While linguistics is so damn interesting, it isn’t the most practical degree in the current. But, it does have a lot of application and intersection with other fields! My suggestion is having another major/minor that would help you expand and apply your linguistics expertise to something else. It’s like that saying: “Jack of all trades is a master of none, but better than a master of one.”

What are your hopes/plans for the future?

I’m hoping to continue my studies and plan on applying for grad school in computational linguistics sometime next year! Still need to study for the GRE, and I’ll see where to go from there. Fingers crossed!

While these questions are tailored toward graduating seniors, they also apply to very recent graduates who are still in the process of making the post-graduation transition to the next chapter of their lives. 

If you are senior or recent graduate of the Linguistics Program at UVM, and would like to share information about your undergraduate experience, send your answers to these questions to

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