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What can you do with a history major?
History Teacher, San Jose
"As a history teacher in southeast San Jose, I have been able to excite students in learning about the past. Earning my degree in history from SCU helped prepare me to teach history, not teach the textbook; it has helped me to mentor new history teachers, and to design cross-curricular units for the new Common Core. It is helping me to make a difference in education."
Guy Marzorati '13
AM Producer, KQED Public Radio
"The classes I took taught as a History major taught me strong writing skills and the ability to analyze daily events with a wider perspective. When I took on a History major at Santa Clara, I had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation, but I left with a set of fundamental skills that allowed me to pursue a wide variety of paths."
Hilary Armstrong '00
Directing Attorney, Health Legal Services | Mental Health Advocacy Project, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
"I use skills that I developed through my history major every single day on the job – from research and writing to analyzing the facts and law in my clients’ cases to communicating with other service providers, government officials, and elected leaders. In addition, my background in history has given me a unique perspective on the issues that my clients face, especially how the history of mental health and HIV treatment in the United States impacts how my clients experience those systems today."
Bridget Brown '12
"As a history major I studied colonialism and gender relations, moreover the silencing of the female voice throughout this period (and ultimately all of history). It is the lessons learned from these lectures which have led me down my current path and equipped me with the knowledge and energy for a future in the world of nonprofits and women’s rights. Technology is our future and we cannot allow women to remain absent and without voices in this field."
Anna Mascoli '12
J.D. Candidate, NYU School of Law
"After graduation, I began law school at NYU. The educational experience I had as a history major is very similar to the legal education I have had. I spend time studying different legal frameworks, and applying these to novel situations. The ability to critically analyze rather than simply memorize is an invaluable skill I learned during my time at Santa Clara, and will serve me well as a practicing attorney. In addition, the research and writing skills that I developed as a history major put me a step ahead when I began school. Instead of wasting time learning how to use search engines and write topic sentences, I spent time honing my persuasive writing and developing my oral argument skills. Feeling prepared in law school is something that should never be underestimated!"
PhD Student, Stanford
"The history major hones a student's ability to think critically, argue effectively, and write persuasively. After graduating from SCU I was hired as a TV news promotion writer/producer/editor solely on the strength of my writing skills. After years in the industry I returned to school to pursue a Masters degree in History. Thanks in part to my Santa Clara education, I excelled in that program and am now pursuing a PhD in Latin American history. My advice to prospective history majors is to do what you love and do it well, and opportunity and success will follow no matter which major you choose."
Sarah Tkach '11
Technological Support, Castilleja School
"I work in the technology department at a private girls' school, providing administrative support and assisting with various technical support issues. Though I did not have a technical background, my boss hired me for the communication and critical thinking skills I had nurtured through studying history. Specifically, I developed skills to notice details, ask thoughtful questions, and acknowledge that context matters. My comfort with details has helped me learn about troubleshooting technology, as often a small detail makes the difference between a device working or not working the way someone wants. Students and employees call tech support in crisis, and I use careful, thoughtful dialogue to understand the context and triage the issues. Folks have a wide range of tech knowledge and experience, and some feel embarrassed to ask a "simple" question. I seek to dignify each person's experience, recognizing that each comes from a different background; I don't make assumptions even in a technology-rich school. Finally, I appreciate that in neither history nor technology can I claim to have all the answers, which inspires me to keep learning."
Carolyn Linck '11
Senior Account Executive, Access Communications
"Since graduating in 2011 I've started my career in public relations and am currently a Senior Account Executive at Access Communications in San Francisco representing consumer and technology clients. In PR, I use the skills I developed as a history major, particularly research, writing and critical thinking, every day. Further, working on a wide variety of accounts -- from non-profits to technology companies and international hospitality chains to luxury goods providers -- the intellectual curiosity and storytelling capabilities I developed while studying history at Santa Clara have served me extremely well in the professional world."
Danielle Vermazen '11
Technology Sales, Salesforce.com
"Since graduation, I've worked in technology sales and recently relocated with my company to sell Software as a Service to the Federal Government. My job requires me to find new business opportunities in federal agencies and present possible solutions to my customers. As a history major, I developed presentation and research skills that I use every day in my current job. My company stresses the importance of telling a story when presenting new solutions to a customer and my experience in preparing for my thesis taught me how to present new ideas to any audience."
Holly Kearl '05
Consultant, UN Women's Safe Cities Global Initiative