BA in History

Georgia J. Brown, 2016

Georgia J. Brown

Why did you choose history as a major?

I always knew that I would want to get my degree in history if I went back to college. When that happened in 2014, I immediately enrolled at Mason as a history major. And then I chickened out and switched to accounting. As a non-traditional student, I was afraid studying history was a little too romantic and I needed to be practical. However, in my HIST 100 prerequisite course first semester, I realized history genuinely was my passion and I needed to reach towards my dream of being an archivist. I knew a history degree would help me in that endeavor.

What was your career path after graduation?

After graduation, my family moved to Japan for a military assignment, and I enrolled in an online library science graduate program with a concentration in archival science. I also worked at the base library while visiting Japanese archives for course projects. Upon returning to Northern Virginia, I was called by my former internship supervisor at the Fairfax Historic Records Center and was offered a project job reprocessing civil files. One year later, I was hired as Assistant Archivist at the Fairfax Circuit Court.

How do you think your history major at Mason prepared you for your career?

As a history major at Mason, I chose courses and pursued internships in hopes of having the type of job I have today. Each professor’s lecture, each book read, each paper written, and each topic researched added a bit to my knowledge bank and skill arsenal. Specifically, I use information from my courses related to slavery and Virginia history daily, and the research skills I learned as a history major have proven to be invaluable.

Any advice you’d like to give current Mason students?

Do not be afraid to put yourself out there when it comes to pursuing a history-related job after graduation. It can be intimidating, but if history is your passion, there will be something out there. Also, do not wait until graduation to start moving in the direction of your chosen career. Utilize internships, volunteer opportunities, and even networking opportunities through Mason. This area has so many options and opportunities for history majors, but you have to be actively seeking and engaging with potential employers.

Lastly, enjoy your time at Mason! Take that random, interesting looking class. Join that club. Don’t be afraid to try new things and let your interests guide you.