As part of the Career Center’s “What I Did with my Major” series, four recent alumni gathered to speak about their experiences after Hamilton. The panel included history concentrators Eve Stevens ’09 and Stephen Allinger ’09 and anthropology majors Emily Ziedler ’10 and Callie Biggs ’10. Pat Mullane of the Career Center immediately encouraged an informal dialogue by asking the student attendees what they wanted to know, letting the session cover a wide range of topics.
The Career Center's "What I Did with my Major" series brings recent alumni to campus to speak about their experiences after Hamilton.
The forum began by addressing how the panelists arrived at their majors and subsequently their varied careers. Both Stevens and Allinger expressed that it was the stories found in their history classes that captivated them as they learned about human interactions, which has been helpful in their respective careers in ministry and law.
Ziedler, a progamme officer at the United Nations echoed this statement, saying her “understanding of human interaction and how it influences social systems has given me a good lens for my work.” Biggs also noted the strength of an anthropology major among an open curriculum, where she complemented her major with courses in archaeology that gave her the freedom to explore options. “If you’re scared of something, try it,” she advised.
When asked if they directly use their major in their work, all the panelists agreed they don’t explicitly study history or anthropology today. But as Allinger noted, “History is all about the process,” saying that his work as an attorney is all about analyzing and critically presenting arguments.
Ziedler also felt the skills from her major were well utilized as she works to understand the context of the projects she works on. Similarly, Stevens attributed her success as a persuasive speaker to her experiences with professors who “simply wanted to hear what I thought.”
While their careers ranged from Unitarian Universalist ministry to interior design in high-end real estate, the panelists were united by their common belief that the strong writing and communication skills they honed as History majors on the Hill brought them to success in their respective field. Ziedler assured the students that their experience in a “writing and discussion-based space to engage translates to real life.”
The panelists left the students with positive sentiments, encouraging networking and delving into their passions.