Department of History

Zack Segal

Date of Degree: 2014  Bachelor of Arts in History (and Sociology with a minor in Philosophy)
Current Position: Foreign Affairs Officers, Department of State, Washington D.C.

My history studies at Pitt are the foundation of my professional skill set.  Working for the federal government requires I tackle ever-changing problems in ways the serve everyday Americans.  The history faculty at Pitt excel at analyzing problems from different perspectives, and I rely heavily on these analytical skills when working with partners in Congress or foreign governments.

Given that I work with a variety of offices in executive and legislative branch it is important that I am an effective communicator.  My history writing seminar at Pitt gave me the ability to synthesize many opinions and perspectives into accessible documents for my team members.   Using the same communication skills I learned from professors in my academic career I now explain and persuade  in my professional career.

Surprisingly, studying History at Pitt gave me the confidence to take on new challenges at work.  Even when confronted with an issue regarding a region of the world I have no prior experience in, I feel comfortable finding primary and secondary sources to bring me up to speed.  Most of my History classes at Pitt focused on Europe, but in my professional career I have worked on issues covering the Western Hemisphere and southern Africa.

Studying under Tony and Pitt's History team gave me the practical skills I needed to succeed at my current job.  Pitt's course offerings gave me the breadth and depth I needed to adapt to the wide variety of tasks at the State Department.