Department of History

Estelle Tran

Date of Degree: Bachelor of Arts in English writing (journalism focus) and History, 2011
Current Position: Prices Analyst at CRU Group 

The Washington Post gets the credit for calling news “the first rough draft of history.” At the University of Pittsburgh, I explored the relationship between journalism and history. Instructors in both fields taught me how to find reputable experts and where to locate primary sources. They taught me to recognize peoples’ biases, ask tough questions, and challenge narratives. Two of my most memorable history classes were “World War I in Comparative Perspectives” with Professor Tony Novosel and “Approaches to Antisemitism” with Professors Seymour Drescher and Alexander Orbach, both of which taught me to consume information critically.

Outside of the classroom, I honed my research skills as a reporter and editor at The Pitt News and with the help of university librarians. I miss the days spent poring over old news articles and court cases; however, as an analyst, I still have the opportunity to research and scrutinize information from many sources. 

After graduating from Pitt in 2011, I started working at a trade publication that focused on shale gas and oil news. My undergraduate studies helped me to track pending legislation regarding shale gas development, interview experts, and analyze data. I quickly moved over to steel coverage, which I have been doing ever since. I have written stories about pricing drivers, economic indicators, trade cases, tariffs, investments, legislation, and more. Stakeholders consume our data and analysis to inform their business decisions. Sometimes reporters interview our analysts to give context to news stories – a responsibility we take seriously.

By tracking market developments in the steel industry, I gained perspective about the interconnectedness of global commodity markets, which framed how I consume news and understand varying perspectives. I am thankful for my time at Pitt, where I learned to think critically, write clearly, and seek reliable information.