Edward Fife

2008 Major: History

Currently: COO for RegTechLab — Washington, DC

How has being a History graduate from Duke helped shape your professional success?

"My History major taught me two things that have proven invaluable throughout my career. First, I learned how to analyze and distill a huge amount of information into a concise and insightful analysis. Second, I learned how to write and form a persuasive argument. When I left Duke I was struck by how many people my age and older had never learned how to write well and to frame a compelling argument. I have gone on to develop many other skills in my career but the foundational elements of analysis and writing have always proven to be most invaluable."

What advice would you give students in History?

"My first piece of advice is to go deep. Identify a question that fascinates you and dig into it with everything you have. The journey of immersing yourself deeply in primary and secondary sources and wrestling with the material will be far more valuable than whatever conclusions you draw. You will learn a lot of valuable skills that way. I also guarantee that you will be a much more interesting and interested person as a result. Second, never apologize or downplay your History major to employers once you graduate. You will have considerable skills that transfer well to any number of fields and you should be confident in their value. If you can articulate with confidence a passion for a subject and the skills you've developed, employers will respect that and you will stand out. But it's up to you to make the case for yourself."

Edward Fife
COO for RegTechLab — Washington, DC