What are you doing now professionally? Can you tell us about your job and long-term career plans?
I currently work in Washington, D.C. as a Program Officer for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. My organization, the Institute of International Education, is a nonprofit that administers the Fulbright Scholar Program on behalf of the Department of State.
Fulbright is an academic exchange and cultural diplomacy program, and it provides teaching and research grants to American faculty and professionals. I manage a portfolio of ten countries in the Europe/Eurasia region, and my responsibilities include recruiting, advising applicants, facilitating the peer review process, and collaborating with overseas colleagues to manage Scholar grants.
What are your thoughts on the value of a liberal arts background, particularly history? How has your history major helped you personally and professionally?
History courses challenge students to ask how the current world order came to be, and professors cultivate the writing, research, and critical thinking skills needed to develop thoughtful hypotheses. I have found these skills to be as valuable in the office as they were in the classroom.
My current portfolio is focused on Europe/Eurasia, but in a previous position I also worked on countries in the Middle East/North Africa region. I’m extremely grateful to my History professors for shaping my understanding of political, economic, and social forces in those regions.