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Halland gains experience for a future in interpreting

Bailey Haaland Submitted Photo

Minot State University student Bailey Halland has found opportunities in the special education department that have inspired her interests for her future career, according to a story provided by MSU.

Halland, however, wasn’t always set on going into the field of interpreting.

“My first semester my freshman year, I was going for graphic design at South Dakota State University and I kind of realized that it was more of a hobby for me instead of a career,” Halland said.

Halland, a junior from Hawley, Minn., in the interpreting program at Minot State, quickly realized graphic design wasn’t her greatest interest. She recalls shadowing an interpreter her senior year of high school and just how much she enjoyed her experience in that setting.

“I just fell in love with it,” she said. “Prior to that, I didn’t have any experience in signing, I just saw it on a TV show I watched and found it really interesting. If I wouldn’t have done the job shadow, I would probably still be doing graphic design.”

Her job shadow experience consisted of working in a high school with two different students. One student was in the special education setting in school while the other student had just received cochlear implants a year prior to Halland’s experience and was in the general education setting. She found that both helped her preview different areas of work she could go into.

South Dakota State University does not have a special education degree or an interpreting program, so when Halland decided to switch, she found Minot State to be the best fit. It was closest to home and best financially for her situation. She still is happy with her choice, as her experiences in the program have all been positive.

“All my professors have been super helpful and encouraging and help show us different ways to sign things. In a couple of my classes, we meet with what’s called a Deaf mentor. These mentors are there to help us with any signs that we’re doing incorrectly, any new signs, any old signs that we no longer use, just different stuff like that,” she said.

On top of her experiences in class, Halland has had the opportunity to be a part of clubs on campus and working as an interpreter, both helping her gain more knowledge to hopefully one day land her a career in interpreting.

“I am in the club Sign On here at Minot State. We haven’t done very much this semester, but last semester we would go to Starbucks or campus every Monday or Sunday and meet with the Deaf community and sign. I’ve also gone to Deaf culture events which were pretty cool,” she said. “Right now, I am working with people who have disabilities and one of them, he’s non-verbal, I work with him and his siblings a lot on signing.”

Halland hopes that her opportunities at Minot State, between her classes and experience through work, will set her up for her dream job after school – to be her own boss and have her own clients. Before that, she has thoughts of getting her master’s degree and eventually working her way up into freelance.

“I am actually looking to move back home to Minnesota and start my career in schools, elementary age if possible. Then I would love to move into freelance and interpret at doctor’s appointments, in-jail visits, government meetings, concerts, just a variety of different things,” Halland said. “With a lot of these, you have to have a lot of experience, but the end goal is definitely to be my own boss and come up with my own clients.”

Halland is not only excited about her future but enjoys her experiences every day. She has been shown a different perspective of the world and is grateful to work within the Deaf Community.

“Obviously with being deaf, they experience a lot of discrimination and lack of communication from people, so it’s really cool to see how people who experience such hardships from hearing people can still be so kind and welcoming to people who attempt to talk to them,” Halland said. “Even if you only know a little bit of sign, they get so excited. Being able to interact with these people is definitely my favorite part of signing.”

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