Why did you choose History as a major?
I always enjoyed reading about the past and learning about how history can shape our future. History presented me with an opportunity to understand the events that led human civilization to where we are today and how it continues to influence current events. Personally, I have been studying my family’s genealogy for many years and continue to research my grandfather’s World War II service in Europe.
During my freshman year at Mason, I had two experiences which convinced me that declaring a major in History was the right choice. First, I was employed by the University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives Department as a researcher and writer. In this position, I learned the practical opportunities possible with a History degree. Then, I enrolled in my first Mason History course, “Lying About the Past” taught by Dr. Mills Kelly. This fascinating course taught me not only valuable research and writing skills, but also demonstrated how a History curriculum could assist in developing my overall academic skills.
What was your career path after graduation?
After graduating from Mason, I enrolled in New York Law School in Manhattan, New York. I am currently on the path to becoming an attorney and have been exploring which legal field best suits my interests.
How do you think your History major at Mason prepared you for your career?
The History major at Mason has provided me with an invaluable foundation for my law school studies. My work with Dr. Deshmukh in HIST 300 and HIST 499 (the upper-level history writing courses) has given me a strong background for my legal research and writing course. The classes I have taken with Dr. Kelly fostered my creativity and improved my ability to use facts to create a story. This is an essential skill on law school exams, in which students are expected to use facts from a hypothetical scenario to craft a legal argument. As I interview for jobs, I always speak about my mock trial experience from Dr. Barnes’ Stalinism course as the starting point for my interest in criminal law.
Any advice you’d like to give to current Mason students?
Use at least part of your time at Mason to do something you really enjoy. Even though it may not be possible to declare a major in your favorite field of study, think about declaring a minor or even taking a few courses in that area. I had a wonderful college experience because I woke up each day excited to go to my classes and participate in the extracurricular activities I selected. My legal career and professional development have been more successful because I was a History major at Mason.