Name: Spencer Benjamin Walle
Hometown: Bedford, Massachusetts
Current location: Malmö, Sweden
What were you involved with at Princeton? I studied Near Eastern Studies with a certificate in South Asian Studies. I also worked at Public Safety, was a member at Princeton Tower Club, and proudly led with Outdoor Action.
What's your favorite memory of Princeton? Hard choice - either late meal at Frist with my best friend, or having the privilege of studying Persian literature under Michael Barry
What have you been up to in the seven years (!) since graduation? What are you currently doing? What has your path been like since college? What's next?
Ah! I spent my first year after graduation working as a project manager at a translation agency in NYC. I went on to quit to strike it out on my own as a freelance translator, which is still my job today. In 2013 I chose not to renew my lease and instead spend some time traveling - I ended up falling in love in Iceland and living there for two years before we moved to Sweden in early 2016. We live in Malmö, across the water from Copenhagen, where I'm immersed in at least five different languages in my daily professional and personal life. Despite all this moving around, my professional life has been pretty narrow: translating technical texts from Japanese and German to English. I'm taking advantage of free education here to learn some more languages and maybe expand my repertoire, and I'm hoping to add a side career in programming perhaps a few years down the road.
What about your life now would your sophomore-year self be most surprised by? I was always too timid to take the plunge and study abroad, even for a semester or summer, so I think I'd be shocked that I live abroad now. Sweden was also nowhere on my radar — sophomore Spencer would probably have picked India or China.
What's a lesson/belief/idea/skill you've learned since graduating? Hm, I went from barely being able to prepare spaghettios to being a pretty enthusiastic plant-based cook at home. That, and a bunch of vague things like "having perspective" and "learning to believe in myself" that adults do.
Anything else you want the class to know? Let me know if you're ever passing through Copenhagen – I'm always happy to catch up