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How Babbel Fast Tracked My Career

If you're like me, you've experienced the serious disappointment that comes having spent hours scouring LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter and finally discovering your dream job, only to be let down by the line 'Spanish speaking skills preferred' or 'headquartered in Paris, French speaking a plus.' I feigned my way through high school Italian and when I tried my hand at learning Spanish in college, I ended up skipping half my classes — it was really boring.

For the first 5 years out of college, I worked as a Fashion Sales Manager, but I generally missed out on the trips to Paris and Milan Fashion Week due to the company wanting to spend the money on sending someone who could actually close a deal in those countries; a task that requires said person to speak the language. Living and working overseas has always been a dream of mine and I'm not getting any younger, so I felt like I needed to take the plunge. I knew what would really set me apart was being able to speak another language. I Googled several language schools in my area, but all of them were well over $500 and I didn't want to end up with deja vu from college repeating 'Hola! Como Estas?' for an hour. That's when I stumbled upon Babbel.

Babbel is a language learning site that offers simple instruction across multiple languages — from beginner to advanced. It was developed by a team of over 100 language experts from more than 40 nations around the world. A research study by City University of New York (CUNY) found that with Babbel, students could learn a semester's worth of Spanish in just three weeks. 3 Weeks? That had my name written all over it.

Every morning, I selected a lesson with or without voice recognition depending on where I was practicing. Each lesson asks you to study words and phrases with a voice-over teaching you how to pronounce every word so you can practice for real-life situations. This was key, and I really felt like I was having a normal conversation with a person — not repeating the same phrase over and over again. I learned what to listen for and how to properly pronounce words, which gave me confidence in my speaking. In just a few weeks, I felt comfortable having conversations with my Spanish-speaking colleagues and continued to use the app whenever I had a spare moment.

After learning with Babbel for 3 months, I could finally add Spanish to my language skills on my resume; I felt really confident in my speaking skills. So I told my boss that I had been learning Spanish and that I wanted to go on the next business trip to Spain. Once I arrived, not only did I feel confident speaking the language at work, but I felt like I really had grasped the language skills necessary to work in another country. It seemed crazy to think that a service so easy and so affordable had really given me such a solid skillset.

I'm now writing this two years later from my apartment in Barcelona, where I am the manager of an international sales program. Babbel was crucial in helping me land my dream job. If you're feeling like you need a change, you have to try Babbel. You won't regret it.

Update:The folks at Babbel are extending a special offer to our readers. For a limited time only follow this link to get 25% of your purchase!

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