Student Spotlight: Karla Tejeda
Senior Karla Tejeda is graduating in May 2023 with a major in applied multilingual studies and a minor in Hispanic studies. She is the Department of Modern Languages’ first graduate in applied multilingual studies, which was created in 2020. Tejeda is also vice president of FIRST Together @CMU, the student organization for first generation college students at Carnegie Mellon University.
Why did you choose Carnegie Mellon University?
I'm originally from Dallas, Texas, but one of the main things that drove me to CMU was how academically rigorous this university is. I had applied to several other out-of-state schools but I felt like CMU had a leg up in the kind of education it provided.
How did you decide on your major?
I originally applied as an English major, with the idea that I would get a degree in professional writing. But during my first semester, I realized that wasn't what I wanted to do. I spent my first few years [at CMU] exploring options and taking courses in psychology, linguistics, biology, and statistics. While all of these courses were interesting, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.
My academic advisor introduced me to the applied multilingual studies major. I told her that I really enjoyed the linguistics aspect of languages and that I was interested in education, language acquisition, and second language learning. The major in applied multilingual studies combined all of my interests — culture, linguistics, education — into just one major. I felt like it was a perfect fit for me.