My professional experience with History began with an internship at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, in their Public Programs division. There, I helped orchestrate and set up demonstrations, lectures, hands-on activities, and living history presentation for museum visitors. After graduating from the U of A, I moved back to Washington, DC and served as a Park Ranger for the National Park Service at the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site. This site was the former home of the founder for the National Council of Negro Women, Mary McLeod Bethune, who performed many roles for the advancement of education, women’s rights, and civil rights in the beginning of the twentieth century. There, I helped conduct tours, create lesson plans for teachers, facilitate field trips and school visits for local students, and serve in administrative duties for the site’s corresponding region in the NPS.
After graduation, I received an M.Ed. in Teaching and Teacher Education through the Teach Arizona program at the U of A. I student-taught high school level U.S. History and Comparative Government in Chandler, AZ, and received professional state teaching certifications in American History, American Government, and Structured English Immersion. After receiving that degree, I returned to work at the Univ. of Arizona as an Admissions Counselor and currently as the Coordination of Admissions for the UA Honors College. I am concurrently a graduate student in the Department of History, and my developing research project concerns early professional baseball and the racialization of Mexican-Americans during the late nineteenth century.
I think the multitude of experiences I’ve had attest to the fact that studying history is applicable to wide variety of career paths. In addition to acquiring content knowledge, history is a ripe way to acquire necessary professional skills, such as critical thinking, analytical writing, organization, interdisciplinary methodology, and, in certain contexts, even public speaking or educational tactics. These tools, when added with personal experiences a student may have, can make students quite marketable and prepared for nontraditional professional opportunities that may not necessarily consist of traditional tasks such as archival work or book publishing.