Interview conducted by Piper Daleiden, Hope College English and Psychology Major, Student Managing Editor for the English Department

What do you do now? And we’d love to hear a bit about how you got there as well.

I recently started a new position working for the American Red Cross at their SAF (Service to the Armed Forces) chapter in Landstuhl, Germany. Our mission is to provide support and resources to the military community in this area through resiliency events, volunteer opportunities, and disaster prevention training. My journey has been a bit all over the place! Immediately after graduation, I worked for the Hope Admissions Office, attending college fairs, reaching out to prospective students, and helping organize on-campus events. I worked with the wonderful admissions team until the start of my Fulbright grant in January 2022. I absolutely loved living and working in Korea as an English Teaching Assistant, and I always recommend that people should visit Korea to see how amazing it is. After finishing my grant, I moved to Germany to live with my parents while I figured out my next steps. Finding a job overseas can be a long process, so stick with it! In order to maintain the ability to work and live in the country, I worked at Subway inside of a bowling center located on a US military installation (you can’t make that up!) until I received my current position. I am honored to be a part of the Red Cross and work alongside the military, especially having grown up as an Army Brat.

How did your Hope English education shape you?

My English courses were some of my favorite classes I took at Hope. I frequently reference topics I learned about in class or papers I wrote to explore subjects that interest me. You realize how applicable literary themes can be throughout your daily life, especially during Trivia! I cannot count how many times I’ve mentioned Shakespearean themes or the lives of the Beatniks in casual conversations.

Natalie Weg, ’20

My Hope English education refined many of my written and oral communication skills that I use on a day-to-day basis, especially since my previous and current positions rely heavily on these types of interactions. The professors are so good about checking in and maintaining relationships even after graduation, so you know you always have support from the Hope family.

Favorite book read recently or in college?

I just finished reading Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. I loved the attention to detail the author uses, tying in social commentary while tackling overarching themes of love and loss. Although I have very little interest in video games, I wasn’t lost in the tech lingo or concept of game creation, so don’t let that deter you if that’s also not your forte. And if you pay attention, the title is a sneaky little Macbeth quote that ties in well to the overall message.

What was your most memorable vacation?

I’ve had so many good vacations that it’s hard to pick one! I just got back from a trip to Madrid, Bilbao (Spain) and Porto (Portugal). I did the first few days as a solo trip exploring Madrid with some people I met in my hostel. I then met up with a friend I have kept in contact with since my study abroad at Hope, and she showed me around Bilbao. Finally, I met up with my group of friends I have here in Germany, and we explored Porto together for several days before going back home. The sunshine and slightly warmer weather were a huge welcome since Germany can be a bit cold and cloudy during this time of year.

What do you now wish you had learned or done in college?

I wish I had been more consistent with language learning. I would have taken as many intro language classes I could fit in! I also would have been more intentional with the languages I started to learn. If I had consistently practiced since the end of college, even just a few minutes a day, it would’ve made my life much easier, especially now that I live overseas. Keep that Duolingo streak!

Join the Conversation


  1. Piper beautifully writes about the importance and benefits of an English degree from Hope. (Just like Piper, I also completed a psychology major.) I earned my degree way back in ‘70 and went on to a splendid, meaningful career as a high school English teacher and ultimately a 33-year career as a superintendent of schools in outstanding public school districts, relying on my English major learning every single day. Enjoy your continued growth and learning, Piper.

  2. What a beautifully musical rhythm. It was listening, not reading. I felt as if a dear friend had dropped by. So unpretentiously intelligent and engaging. Thank you so very much ‼️

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