Meet Our Alumni

Elizabeth Blackwood

Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens — Washington, D.C.

"My Duke History degree is the foundation of my career and I would not be where I am without it."

Katy McClure Chang

Vice President, Corporate Strategy & Innovation, LPL Financial

"One of the best parts of studying history is learning to synthesize and understand the often complex situations and contexts of key historical events; learning how to think about my business in the context of an extremely dynamic world has made me a better strategist."

Scott Champagne

Vice President at Barclays — Wilmington, Delaware

"Work on creative thinking and framing arguments."

Mea Warren

University of Houston Libraries — Houston, Texas

"A history degree opens a variety of doors..."

Dylan Newman

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) — Miami, Florida

"I think Economics and History were a great combination to learn both quantitative and qualitative skills while in undergrad."

Michael Schwartz

Financial Advisor at Northeast Planning Corporation — Cranford, NJ

"It is impossible to predict in college where your career may lead you; the skills that the History department provides are applicable to so many careers!"

Rachel Rodriguez

Senior Producer, CNN International — London, UK

"Ignore the people who say 'what in the world are you going to do with a history degree?'"

Three Span Oil & Gas, Inc. — Midland, Texas

"My history degree has served me extremely well, both in how I employ my liberal arts thinking ... and in developing my communication skills..."

Sanette Tanaka

Vox Media — New York, New York

"As a history major focusing on the Americas, I learned how to think through abstract concepts, dissect a topic, and find relevance to the here and now."

Heidi Scott Giusto

Writing Consultant and Entrepreneur

"If you need an additional skill, pursue it – but do not use it as a form of procrastination. You are at Duke: there are classes you can take and job opportunities that can help you refine your abilities."

Duke University School of Law — Durham, North Carolina

"The writing and researching skills that the history major teaches, not to mention the increasingly rare knowledge of the past, are timeless."

Mallory Ellingson, MPH

Hubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University — Atlanta, Georgia

"I think as a History major you learn two very valuable skills — perspective and creative analysis."

Associate Attorney, Spencer Fane

"I received my first job offer without even applying because of the Duke name."

Netflix — Los Angeles, California

"My biggest advice would be to take advantage of the breadth of topics history offers and take classes whose topic area interests you."

Senior Business Analyst, Abercrombie & Fitch — New Albany, Ohio

"Choose a path within History that interests you and take away the major themes that are discussed."

Mary Kate Cash

Diligent Corporation — New York, New York

"Studying History at Duke allowed me to hone many different skills including research, attention to detail, and learning to approach a viewpoint from different angles."

Alexander Shapanka

NYC Department of Small Business Services — New York, New York

"My degree taught me to be flexible in my jobs and made me predisposed to searching for fresh ways of analysis."

Becki Feinglos Planchard

City of Chicago, Office of the Mayor — Chicago, Illinois

"If we don't understand where we're coming from as a society, we are missing out on making a bigger impact tomorrow."


Vice President - Investor, Pacific Lake Partners — San Mateo, Calif.

"There are paths out of a History major besides historian and lawyer. Be opportunistic and take a leap of faith - life is more fun that way, and you can still end up doing well."

Edward Fife

COO for RegTechLab — Washington, DC

"(With a History major) you will have considerable skills that transfer well to any number of fields and you should be confident in their value."