BA in History

Dianne Kim, 2007

Dianne Kim

Why did you choose History as a major?

I initially chose History as a major because I had plans to go to law school after graduation. I then realized that going to law school was not the right career path for me, but I remained a History major because I found the classes I took at George Mason interesting and engaging. As a History major, I learned to read and write analytically and comprehensively and I feel that these skills have helped me throughout my post-undergraduate years. These skills have been especially helpful in graduate school. 


What was your career path after graduation?

While I was still at George Mason I knew that I wanted to go into international development and live abroad. I started my application to the Peace Corps during my spring semester of my senior year and I left for Nicaragua a year later. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua for twenty-seven months and left to work with the Metropolitan Office of Education in Seoul, South Korea. I lived in Seoul for two years and came back to Washington, DC to start a career in business development. I am currently a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. 


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

My History degree from Mason helped to give me a broader outlook on the world. The courses I took at Mason encouraged me to explore different cultures and develop an appreciation for history. My History degree also helped to build strong reading and writing skills which have been extremely important in my work as a development professional in putting together proposals and in my graduate school coursework. 


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

I would advise students to take more quantitative and science courses along with your history courses. I know that as a History major you might think that you will not need statistics or complex math in the future after graduation, but looking back at my years at Mason, I wish I had taken more quantitative courses. I would also encourage students to look at study abroad opportunities while at Mason because studying abroad in Spain junior year and backpacking  opened my eyes to other career paths. These experiences are what motivated me to apply to the Peace Corps and live abroad.