Why did you major in History?
Growing up, I loved learning and reading. I was often found with my nose in a book whether fiction or a biography. I constantly wanted to learn more about life outside of my small circle. When I arrived at the University of Michigan my freshman year, I couldn’t find my way around campus, let alone tell you what I wanted to study. However, sophomore year I took Professor Juster’s History 260, United States to 1865, and things snapped for me. I raved about the class to anyone and everyone that would listen. I looked forward to stepping into discussion and bouncing thoughts about the colonial economy off of other students. After chatting with my peers and mentors and reflecting on my class experiences, I decided to major in History because I was truly passionate about the topic and knew that the next three years would challenge me.
You've worked in sales and marketing since graduating—tell us more about that.
Deciding what I wanted to pursue as a career was not the easiest decision, in part because a History degree doesn’t necessarily set a clear-cut path on what to do after graduating. I moved to Chicago and took a job in cold-calling sales. The role wasn’t what I desired long term, and I found my current role as a content marketer at G2, where I’m able to use skills developed through the History program. My team focuses on offsite search engine optimization, and I contribute by writing guest articles on a variety of topics and completing outreach to different organizations.
How has your background in History helped you at work?
My role as a content marketer is an extremely writing-heavy position. I’m thankful that the History program helped refine and advance my writing skills through the many papers I was assigned. At the time, I didn’t appreciate the feedback fully, but I doubt that without the help from professors and peer revisions I would be in the position I am today. Each History class, no matter the professor, emphasized the importance of research and critically analyzing each piece that we read. When I create new content now, I utilize these same techniques when identifying existing competing content. I try to find where these pieces may fall short in providing information to the reader and work to ensure that my piece covers all questions and is thorough. My favorite part of my role is that I am not specialized in a specific topic. Therefore, I am constantly researching new topics and expanding my knowledge.
Tell us about a particularly interesting or influential History class.
One of my favorite history classes was History 476, American Business History, with Professor Mary Hinesly. I loved this class because the student makeup was quite diverse. There were History majors, business school students, and a variety of other students interested in the class. We learned about the different sectors in the American economy from colonial time to present. Additionally, the class had a large amount of student contribution through presentations. I’d encourage current students to fit the class in their schedule if possible, it’s a great class to take and will advance some additional skills such as presentation ability.
Do you have any advice for current History students looking to pursue business careers after graduating?
The History major at Michigan is a great program that gives its students skills needed for almost every profession. Don’t be afraid that your degree may hold you back compared to someone with a more technical degree. Highlight the skills that History gave you when looking for positions. When interviewing, I’ve focused on the writing capabilities, analytical thinking, and communication skills that were developed through different History classes. Use the uniqueness of the program to highlight why you’ll be a great candidate due to the diversity of your skills.
Any other thoughts or comments?
Although you may develop a favorite professor in the department (I for sure had a few!), try to take classes from as many different professors as you can. Our department is incredibly intelligent in different topics and in different ways, and they can teach you many things about history and even life.