Why did you choose History as a major?
I thoroughly enjoyed history in high school, and learning about our pasts provides great guidance in where our future is headed. Additionally, the History degree curriculum is comprehensive. While in college, I learned how to think critically, properly conduct research, write concisely, and speak in public or group settings. History granted me the opportunity to improve my skill set in these areas.
What was your career path after graduation?
My original plan was to attend law school, but I wasn't completely committed to the idea of attending right after college, so I worked as a paralegal at a top-tier law firm in Washington, DC. Afterwards, I realized law school wasn't for me and I pivoted away from law to government and politics. They're closely related, so I was able to secure an internship with a powerful committee for the House of Representatives while pursuing a master's degree in Public Policy. My experiences on Capitol Hill were paramount to my success and eventual transition back to the private sector, where I now focus primarily on banking and financial services policy.
How do you think your History major at Mason prepared you for your career?
The Mason History department gives you an extraordinary perspective into history because of its faculty and their proximity to Washington, DC. I had the opportunity to learn from some of the most impressive professors in the field during class and then see them featured on CNN or PBS that same evening. Moreover, the program offers students courses across the historical spectrum, and that curriculum improved my reading, writing, and critical analysis skills.
Any advice you’d like to give current Mason students?
Hard work is essential to reaching your goals, but networking is helpful as well. Be humble -- no matter how hard you worked during your undergraduate studies, you're not an expert. Real-world experience is something that cannot be taught in the classroom, and you should immerse yourself into your new environment to learn how to be successful. Most importantly, find a mentor or someone who can provide advice and help you navigate through your career. And always thank your parents or loved ones for helping you achieve success.