History at Work

Welcome to the “History at Work” page. Here, you will find information on how to put your history degree to work in the real world. Use the resources below to begin building your career. Learn how to market what you’ve learned as well as explore possible professional opportunities. Interested in learning more? Book an appointment with the History at Work Director, Professor Jordan Biro Walters (Dr. J) at jbirowalters@wooster.edu

Current internship/job opportunities (check deadlines!)

 

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Up next for our “Where Are They Now” series is Alex Gioiella! She recently graduated from law school and fills her time by working as a fencing coach and is currently the highest-rated black female fencing referee in the world. She says “my advice to students would be to take advantage of your professors. They are professionally some of the smartest people you’ll ever come across, and personally some of the most amazing human beings you’ll ever spend time with. Enjoy your time with them, ask them for help, go to them when you have problems. They’ll be there for you academically and personally. I can’t imagine my Wooster experience without them. They’ll show you how to engage with the world in a positive way, and you’ll carry that for the rest of your life.” Alex says that her history degree helped her take in information and synthesize it properly. It also helped her with law school by making it “significantly more bearable.” She ended by saying “all I can say to the faculty, both past and the ones who are still there that I had the pleasure of spending time with, is thank you. I’m better for having known you.”

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Up next for our series “Where Are They Now?” Is ‘09 alum Andrew Olsen. Andrew is currently a medical resident at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He will be completing his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Case Western University in Ohio. For his advice to current students, Andrew says “I’d tell them to focus on qualities that are generally transferable between all professions. Accountability, determination, focus on a job well done, and above all, an eagerness to learn are qualities to develop while you are in College. You’re College of Wooster experience should not just be an education in history, but should be establishing a framework for how you can approach questions and problems in the future. For me, Wooster provides these tools and more which proved invaluable when I was first out of college working construction and have been completely applicable through medical school and residency training.” He also acknowledged the impact of his advisors, Professor Schilling, Professor Pozefsky, Professor Hettinger, swim coach Rob Harrington, and his grandfather Professor Ling. Thank you, Andrew!

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Up next for our series “Where Are They Now,” features alumni David Greetham. David is a Site Acquisition Specialist for a company called Black and Veatch. “I complete the zoning and permitting of modifications to existing cell towers in states throughout the Midwest including Ohio. I would advise students to take an internship in college and get an email list of alumni in their location from Wooster so they can start networking to see if they know of any opportunities. I’d recommend making a list of companies you’d like to work for and when you start looking for jobs. My history major has helped my career in that it gave me the writing, research, communication, and learning skills necessary to succeed in every job I’ve had. Writing skills are so important in almost every field.”

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Our next alumni post for the “Where Are They Now Series?” features Elyse Vukelich. She is currently an Urban planner for Brookfield, Illinois which is a suburb of Chicago. “My job is working with developers, businesses, engineers, elected officials, and residents to ensure that the community is growing according to our Comprehensive Plan. I read, write, and review land use and zoning policy. I also review building plans, apply for grants, give presentations at public hearings, and do community outreach.” For advice Elyse says “Use your time at Wooster to explore what you’re good at and to develop that skill- whether it is writing, presenting, research, coordinating groups of people, leading, or teaching. The education that you receive at Wooster teaches you to communicate effectively, which is sometimes a rare trait in the professional world.”

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Next up for our series “Where Are They Now?” is Barton Myers. He is currently a professor for Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. He states “As far as advice, I would suggest pursuing an internship during the summer during your undergraduate career. You can begin to build a professional network in this way very early. My own internship led to a position as a historian with the National Park Service while I was at Wooster. This was in addition to my work with several professors in the History Dept., the most important ingredient in launching a successful career as a teacher and professor of history… On a day to day basis, my teaching is driven by that same desire to mentor students one-to-one that I had the good fortune of experiencing at Wooster. I would never have achieved some of my own professional goals if I had not had that kind of mentor ship when I was younger.”

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Next up for our series “Where Are They Now?” is ‘13 grad Isaac Galef-Brown. He is currently an Program Leader for a gap year organization called Thinking Beyond Borders. “I travel abroad with my students for up to six months at a time, teaching service-learning curriculums on education, sustainable agriculture and public health and facilitating personal growth experiences, identity development and reflection as their mentor. I think a lot of the anxiety my students feel about going into college is regarding picking a major (like history), which has no clearly defined career path attached to it. That can feel risky. After graduating from Wooster, I began working in Elementary and Special Education and later joined the field of International Education. I could have worked in these fields after majoring in any number of subjects at Wooster, but my time spent studying history gave me a lot of broad skills that I’ve used in so many ways since graduating. Being able to communicate effectively and articulately through writing, developing critical thinking about bias, a curiosity about learning, interest in social justice movements and social change, and a baseline understanding of how things got to be the way they are currently in the world were all things that I found to be valuable in my career in education after Wooster.”

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Up next for our series “Where Are They Now?” Is Wooster Alum James Furgol, a professor of U.S. and World History at Montgomery County Community College. He says “Primarily I conduct the typical onsite/online teaching, tutoring, and advising responsibilities associated with higher education, but more recently I have been involved in forming history courses that only use free resources.” He also writes reviews for history textbooks and works as a rater for companies like Pearson and College Board. He says that one thing that helps students succeed at Wooster is having “a great relationship with Wooster’s Career Planning department,” so as to know what you’re going to do after college. When discussing what it means to earn a history degree at Wooster, Furgol stated, “Earning a degree at Wooster (especially the IS experience) is an invaluable asset it today’s job market. It is undeniably a great stepping stone into law or graduate school. However, developing your writing and research skills will facilitate your success in any high-demand work area like DC.”

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“Where Are They Now?” Meet Jacob Dinkelaker ‘11, Park Ranger at Natchez Trace Parkway: “I am the site supervisor for Mount Locust, a restored 1820s Mississippi cotton plantation. I oversee visitor services at the site, conduct research on the lives of the enslaved, and do outreach to local communities. I loved my time at Wooster and I use the skills I learned as a history major every day. The advice I would give to students is to become an expert at something in addition to the core skills you develop as a historian, so whether that be marketing, graphic design, data or statistics, or a foreign language, it doesn’t matter. This will first and foremost make you a better historian (and more interesting person!), and it will open so many doors, new ways to thought, and opportunities later as well.”

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"Where Are They Now?" Meet Catherine Gillette '13: "I work in Washington, DC as the Grassroots Mobilization Coordinator for an organization called NETWORK. I spend my time educating and organizing people of faith around social justice issues such as tax justice, living wages, family-friendly workplaces, voting rights, access to health care, immigration reform, and housing policy. My job involves a great deal of networking, public speaking, and research. These are skills that my history degree helped me to fine-tune. Additionally, I am sometimes able to use my background in history more directly–I recently presented at a national conference about the impact of ten federal policies on our nation's racial wealth gap. I encourage all Wooster History Majors to take full advantage of your I.S. experience and to research something you really care about! Also, I highly recommend doing a year of service after graduating. It's a great way to make a difference–while gaining valuable work experience!" Thanks for the advice, Catherine!

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“Where Are They Now” Meet Ariel Veroske ‘14, Senior Associate / Executive Recruiter for Dinte Executive Search in Washington, D.C.: “My Wooster History degree taught me strong communication, critical thinking, and how to evaluate and analyze people and situations, which I use daily in my job as an executive recruiter and consultant in the Defense and Aerospace world. The skills I learned are universal and applicable to so many fields and I felt I could parlay my skills into anything. Advice to current students: Take advantage of every resource — APEX, professors, alumni, etc. and be bold. Schedule informal networking calls and ask alumni about their career paths. Everyone is thrilled to help you succeed post-graduation!”

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“Where Are They Now?” Meet Leann Do ‘12: “I reside in Portland, Oregon and work for a philanthropic funder of nonprofits and scholarships. I review grant proposals from organizations about the work they do to address the access and opportunity gaps affecting their communities in Oregon. My work requires using critical reading skills to assess the diverse needs of nonprofits. It’s not much different from reading secondary sources — I am still examining the thesis, data, and conclusion. For students, my insight about the value of a history degree is not groundbreaking: history majors are trained to be good writers. Expressing yourself clearly and succinctly is one of the most highly regarded skills in any profession you pursue. Don’t sleep on (or through) your term papers. Use this time to hone your skills and stretch your abilities, go to your professor’s office hours, and take advantage of the writing center. Find your voice and use it every day.” Thanks for the great insight, Leann! #WhereAreTheyNow #WoosterGraduates

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Today we are featuring our first alum in our new series "Where Are They Now?" Meet Alex Hastie '02: "I have had my own law firm in Columbus, Ohio for the last 10 years where I practice liquor law and criminal defense. My history major at Wooster turned me on to a lifetime of discovery of history and led me to starting the popular Ohio history podcast, "Ohio v. the World". It's scary to think about a career after a history major but my ability to write after college… really helped in law school and ultimately in my career. Majoring in history taught me how to think, how to analyze an issue from multiple viewpoints and not accept the easy answer, but search for the hidden truth." Check out Alex's podcast at @ohiovtheworldpodcast where on March 5, Alex will be interviewing current History major Hope Nelson '18 on the history of the Underground Railroad in Northeastern Ohio and in Wooster! #WhereAreTheyNow #WoosterGraduates

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“Where Are They Now?” Meet Erik Shilling ‘06: “I currently work as the News Editor at the Gizmodo Media Group website Jalopnik, where we write about cars, racing, and the future of transportation, among other things. I’ve been a journalist my entire career since graduating from Wooster in 2006. The things you can do in college to prepare yourself for life after graduation are the same things that will make you successful in any career — be kind to people, work hard, make yourself helpful, never take things personally, and try to take as many risks as possible. I would also say that unless you plan to be an academic, being a history major has zero bearing on what you end up doing professionally, which is good news, because it means you should have fun with it. What do you want to do in life? Who do you want to be? Try to imitate your professional idols, and never wait for permission to start on something. You’re all going to be fine.”

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“Where Are They Now?” Meet Kristen Weischedel ‘12: “I work as an archivist, which is like a librarian for historical documents. A lot of my work is the digitalization and preservation of historical items, so I definitely use my history degree. As for my advice for current students, I’d say try different things to try to figure out what you like – that is the point of a liberal arts education after all. My undergraduate coursework in other departments only strengthened my understanding and interpretations of history. And, as much as you may hate those term papers now, my writing skills definitely have been an asset.” Great advice, Kristen! #WhereAreTheyNow #WoosterGraduates

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