Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What is Life Like After the History Major?

Christine Giamattei, a 2010 graduate of Holy Cross and a history major, nails it! She followed her burning passion for history and eventually found the study of history prepared her well for a life of work.

Here is a taste from her 2013 post at Levo League:
Unlike the decision of what to actually do with my history degree, the decision of declaring the major was an easy one. I declared history as my major even before I went to orientation at Holy Cross. It was a bold move, but a sure thing.
It had become apparent to me that history was really the only thing I was truly interested in studying. The only thing I wanted to learn, to read, to write, and to discover in college. It had been the same growing up too. My love for it is something that makes me, me.
And history turned out to be the best thing for me to study in college because I had an innate, unquestionable, burning passion for it.
But once second semester senior year rolled around, I realized that I would be blasting stereotypes, as I would not be venturing off to law school or applying for a teaching job with a fresh history degree.
I really had no idea what I wanted to do and who I should contact about jobs that would be a good fit for the major on my degree. I didn’t know if interviewers and companies would see my degree as vague and limiting and unspecified and without practical training.
How would my passion for and knowledge of Gilded Age America translate into work at a future job that wasn’t being a teacher, librarian or historian?
I eventually came to believe that my major prepared me well for life and work in the professional world. For any kind of job, really. It wasn’t what I learned/loved… every bit of 19th century America… or didn’t learn/hated in college… calculus and plant biology… but how I learned it and what I walked away with… besides being able to talk anyone’s ear off about the significance of the construction and opening day of the Brooklyn Bridge on May 24, 1883.
I’ll spare you that oration.
Instead, I am here to tell you — all of you — that all of the papers and tests and group projects and office hours and presentations (that seem completely bullshit at the time) are worth it. These experiences will be put to good use after you earn the diploma. You will use the skills you picked up along the way, whether you’re conscious of them at the time or not.
In the end, it didn’t matter what major I graduated with. I’d been on a holy grail and back in order to graduate with indispensable professional (and life) skills and passions, and that is what I believe will take me far in my career.
So what the heck are these famed skills and passions that can help earn you success and gain you notoriety among your co-workers?
I’ll tell ya.
Read the rest here.