Date of Degree: Bachelor of Arts in History (Political Science minor), 2016
Current Position: Human Resources Generalists, Please Touch Museum, the Children’s Museum of Philadelphia
I am a young Human Resources professional and the training I received from my studies in History helped prepare me for success in my field. My ability to write professionally, analyze and explain large amounts of information, and to observe and learn from diverse population sets have made me an invaluable asset to employers. In HR, knowing the best way to articulate a point, and being able to choose the correct words becomes important when handling sensitive issues which could come with a large” price tag” if not handled with the necessary discretion. Writing is equally important because policies must me written in a way that the purpose is stated clearly and concisely enough that it is understandable to all employees, but still detailed enough to protect the company. I often get to flex my creative writing muscles when I have to post a new job ad, or if I am trying to garner employee enthusiasm for an upcoming initiative that we all know will be painfully boring. I am a go to person whenever anyone needs help “wording stuff”. I am naturally inclined to track trends in my various projects and often, this information is useful beyond the HR department, as we working very closely with Finance, Operations, and Risk Management.
I never expected my History studies to lead me to a career in HR. Almost immediately into my first semester at Pitt, I realized that STEM was not the path for me. I dabbled in several other potential majors until finally, thanks to the persistent pressure of a friend, I enrolled in my first history during the spring semester of my sophomore year. It was a class on the Revolutionary War. I only took that class because it fit into my schedule at a time when having to be anywhere before 10:00am was sacrilege. From the very first lecture, I felt like I had found a place I could belong. By spring break, I had declared my major.
Once I declared my major, I took a truly interdisciplinary approach to my studies. I still wasn’t sure what my long-term plan was, so I took any class that seemed interesting, while also fulfilling a core requirement. I forced myself outside of my comfort zone, which for me meant doing the things that interested me simply because I wanted to, and it paid off both personally and professionally.
I stumbled into HR. I applied for an internship with a management company that operates several grocery stores, hotels, and a country club across Philadelphia and Delaware county. I assisted the HR Director and he was so impressed with my ability to exceed his expectation on every task that I was assigned, that he asked me to come work with him during summer breaks and whenever I was home from school. He became a mentor, and before I graduated, he offered me a position in the HR department. I worked in this position for two years. During this time, I soaked up as much knowledge and experience as possible.
Recently, I transitioned into a new position at Philadelphia’s beloved Please Touch Museum. We’re located in an amazing building that was constructed for the 1876 Centennial Exposition. At this stage in my life, I am working my “dream job”. Within the next year, I am planning to begin working toward Master’s Degrees in Organizational Development, as well as Museum Studies.
For now, I am so excited everyday to have the privilege of not only working in a location that is so deeply woven into the history of my hometown, but also to know that I am able to utilize my strengths to support an organization that is working to create a brighter future for children of every background, and for the communities that I consider my home.