Prospective Students

Jennifer Schneider

  • Graduation Year: 2019
  • Majors & Minors: History major; Political Science major


Current Student

How did you decide on your major?

I was originally a history minor, but as I took more history classes I realized I wanted to turn my minor into a major thanks to the amazing history department faculty. Every history class I took was so engaging, and I really felt that my reading/writing/research skills were improving so much.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

History appeals to me because I believe it is incredibly interdisciplinary – the skills and knowledge it elicits can be applied to virtually any field. Above all, history helps us understand the present. Also, the emphasis that the Rutgers history department places on diversity is something I’m really proud of as a student.

Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?

My favorite class thus far has been my history seminar with Professor Stephens. Our seminar focused on family history/microhistory. It was incredibly interesting and rewarding to learn more in depth about conducting research on “normal” people/groups – or doing “history from below.” I even had the opportunity to research my own family’s immigration history and learn more than I ever had before from a historian’s perspective. I believe this process significantly improved my writing and research skills – largely thanks to Professor Stephens.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

My favorite academic experience outside of my major, although related to it, is currently my role as a FIGS Peer Instructor (First Year Interest Group Seminar). This summer, I’ve developed an original 10-week curriculum on “Exploring History” that I will teach to a class of first-year students interested in majoring in history this upcoming fall. I will also be taking a peer instructor class alongside my own class. In all, it’s such a great opportunity to learn so many valuable skills and be a meaningful mentor to new Rutgers students – especially those interested in history!

What are your other Rutgers activities?

I’m the service director for the Rutgers chapter of Omega Phi Alpha, a national service sorority (so we focus on hands-on volunteering projects, as well as learning about the communities we serve). I am also a proud member of the Rutgers club softball team – we’ve made it to NCSA Nationals in Columbus, Georgia twice in my time here!

What are your plans following graduation?

Following graduation, my plan is to join AmeriCorps and volunteer for a year. During that time, I also plan to apply to law school where my goal is to focus in Public Interest Law. I truthfully do believe that my history major has proficiently prepared me for law school.

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