Eric grew up in an Austrian-American household, with German being the only common language between himself and his grandparents. Upon attending Yale, Eric wanted to take courses with a focus on German history while simultaneously improving his German speaking skills in an academic setting. Alongside German courses, Eric got involved with the Yale German department via German theater productions and Kaffeeklatsch. Eric also sought to apply his German skills in a professional setting, pursuing an internship at a bank in Austria during his sophomore summer. Eric ultimately decided to double major in Economics and German Studies, using his German language abilities to write separate German-related theses for both majors – “The Impacts of Privatization on Former East German State-Owned Enterprises” for Economics and “Austria’s Rightward Shift” for German Studies. Eric now lives in New York City, and still uses his German skills to communicate with relatives, visit Austria on a regular basis, and stay current on German business and political matters.
Beckett started learning German during his first semester at Yale and graduated with a double major in Political Science and German Studies. He was awarded the German Consulate Certificate of Outstanding Achievements in German and went on to spend his junior year studying abroad in Freiburg im Breisgau at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. During his study abroad year, he served as an intern in the office of State Minister Helge Braun. After finishing his undergraduate studies at Yale and inspired by his work with public policy in Helge Braun’s office, Beckett went to law school at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. As part of UCI Law’s International Justice Clinic, Beckett worked with U.N. Special Rapporteur David Kaye to promote free speech and expression. Utilizing his unique perspective of German politics, history, and culture, Beckett contributed to projects that advanced international approaches to social media speech regulation and the protection of free expression. Beckett is now a licensed attorney whose legal practice has been significantly shaped by his experiences in Germany and as a student in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures.