HAPS Alumni Return to Speak on Finding Work, Professional Skills

By Purnell T. Cropper | March 10, 2015

On March 2, nine recent alumni of the Historical and Political Studies department returned to campus to speak to more than 40 students and graduating seniors about working in the field.

Through the panel, current students saw “the range of different types of careers that majors in the department pursue,” said Peter Siskind, department chair. Alumni who majored in history, international studies, and political science spoke about their experience in fields ranging from finance and insurance to higher education and nonprofits.

The alumni also shared strategies they felt helped them land a career, such as networking, speaking with employers even when they weren’t hiring, and emphasizing strengths and employability.

“The panelists gave illustrative examples of how they figured out their career directions and built professional competencies, such as networking and resume writing to achieve their goals,” said Marissa Deitch, director of career education.

Returning alumni were:

  • Mairead Comaskey ’10, International Studies, culture and inclusion specialist at Vanguard Group
  • Kate Hendel ’10, International Studies, operations manager at Resources for Human Development
  • Hiroki Kato ’10, History, data analyst at Prudential Insurance
  • Maggie Keenan ’14, International Studies, membership and event assistant at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia
  • Susan Laverty ’12, History, resident director at Temple University
  • Victoria LeMay ’12, Political Science, senior event coordinator at the American Cancer Society
  • Jennie Samson ’12, International Studies and Political Science, immigration paralegal at Klasko Immigration Partners LLC
  • Kate Sundra ’12, History, Atlantic City Historical Museum and Atlantic City Free Public Library
  • Zachary Wynkoop ’12, Political Science, Drexel Law School and Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office

“[The event] reassured students that, though the transition into the working world is inevitably fraught with anxiety, that anxiety is normal,” Siskind said. “By being proactive and strategic, good job search results can and often do happen.”