MA in History

Dan Martins, 2016

Dan Martins

What work are you doing now?

I am the a Naval Officer living in Hawaii, and a career helicopter pilot now serving as the Executive Officer of Hawaii's premier MH-60R helicopter squadron. Having completed multiple deployments throughout my career I can truly say a career in the United States Navy will indeed span the globe, and afford anyone a life rich in experience.

What do you like about it?

The people I have had the honor to serve with have made my career in the Navy deeply rewarding, and I am incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve my country. Everyday is different in the Navy, and the challenges of managing a squadron keeps the job interesting. As an undergraduate I studied history and international relations. Graduating with a Masters in History fifteen years later I found the analytical and writing skills emphasized by Mason just as relevant to a Naval Officer's career.

How did your degree in the college prepare you to do this work?

The rigorous critique of my writing during the research seminar was an invaluable help in eventually getting published. The small class size and individual attention afforded students during the research seminar vastly improved my writing and research skills. The value of taking a research seminar with two different professors cannot be emphasized enough. It allowed me to practice two distinctly different approaches to research and writing. I was able to successfully publish my first scholarly article due to guidance and mentorship of my Mason professors.

What advice would you give current students about developing their careers?

The skills taught by the history department are essential elements of any liberal education. The diversity of the student backgrounds, the informed debate in the classroom, and the solid critique of the historical argument at Mason, all improve one's analytical and writing skills. Spending time in the classroom mid-career is a big time commitment, but deeply rewarding. The MA Enrichment Concentration is the perfect program for professionals who want to deepen their historical understanding while maintaining a flexible course load.