Why did you choose history as your major?
I was incredibly lucky to have a passionate yet challenging history instructor throughout high school. He helped me to discover my interest in history and thoroughly prepared me for both college and a collegiate level history major. After taking a few history courses at Rutgers, I really fell in love with the major and declared as soon as I was able.
What did you like most about it?
I loved the structure of the program. It isn't difficult to navigate, and I was easily able to determine what courses I needed to take when. I've had such interesting professors throughout my time at Rutgers, and their own research has really inspired me to dig a little deeper into course material. I also enjoyed being able to take a wide array of courses; I've studied early Jewish history, World War II in Europe, Modern Britain, and everything in between.
What is your current position, what do you do, and what do you enjoy most about it?
I am an incoming member of Americorps, more specifically NCCC FEMA Corps, Class 25. I work in Emergency Management and Preparedness to ensure that communities are better prepared for disasters and are able to recover safely and quickly. I leave July 24th, but I already feel connected to my class members, and I am excited to serve the country for ten months.
What was your first job after Rutgers and how did you get it?
I was a work study student at Rutgers throughout my four years. I spent my freshman year as a member of event crew at the Cook Student Center, but transferred to the History Department the next year, where I worked until my graduation in May. I absolutely loved my time at the History Department, as I was able to work with professors to ready course materials while still finding time to study.
How did you move from that first job to your current position?
Before graduation, I realized that I wanted to take a gap year in order to breathe. I have always been interested in working for the government, so when I discovered Americorps I was thrilled. Applying was a long process, but I’ve been legally and medically cleared and I start incredibly soon. I’d like to think that my jobs at Rutgers have prepared me for FEMA Corps by teaching me responsibility, resourcefulness, and flexibility.
Looking back, what classes or experiences at Rutgers would you point to as contributing to your successes?
This year, I wrote a senior thesis for the American Studies major. It was an...experience. It was probably the most challenging thing that I’ve ever done, but now that I’m able to look back on my thesis, I’m so incredibly proud of what I’ve written. I pooled resources not just from American Studies, but History as well. It really reflects my four years at Rutgers well.
What advice do you have for our current Arts and Sciences students?
TALK TO AN ADVISOR. Seriously. They’re not as scary as you think they are. You can speak to an advisor within your major, or a more general advisor for your school. Make sure you’re on track to graduate and you’re checking every box. I’d also recommend taking a few courses outside of your major. Rutgers has such a wealth of information and courses, and I really regret not branching out more during my time here.