History graduates go on to pursue rich and exciting careers in a variety of fields and graduate programs. Read on to learn about some of our recent graduates, and how they continue to benefit from the skills and knowledge they learned as a History Major at Wake Forest University. If you are a recent graduate and would like to be featured on this page or offer career mentoring for current majors, please click here.
Will Geiger, 2010
Where are you working? How did you get there? I am an Associate Director of College Counseling at Hopkins School, an independent school in Connecticut. I am also finishing my master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania, where I am studying entrepreneurship and innovation in education.
I was a first-generation college student and since my own experience in the admissions process, have been passionate about college access and affordability. I love working with students and helping them find their way to a meaningful post-secondary experience.
Whether I work for a high school, college, or college access non-profit, I know I want to help create pathways to college.
Why did you choose History as your major? I love learning about the past and thinking about change over time.
Is there a particular skill you learned here that you value? Writing and crafting an argument were skills that I was really able to hone at Wake Forest. I credit my advisor, Dr. Paul Escott, with much of this. He really pushed me to become a better writer, researcher, and historian.
How has Wake Forest shaped your career? As a first-generation student, Wake Forest really broadened my horizons and pushed me outside of my comfort zone.
This experience pushed me into a career in education. I know it was life-changing for me and I want to help others access the same opportunity.
What advice would you give to current students? Don’t be afraid to take risks. College is a fantastic time to try new things. There are so many intelligent and interesting people at Wake, so get to know them! Some of the most important learning takes place outside of the classroom.
Andrew Rodriguez, 2013
Where do you currently work? At Oracle Corporation as a Sales Representative.
Why did you choose History as your major? Understanding history not only provides a richer lens to the present but provides insight to what may happen in the future.
Is there a particular skill you learned here that you value? Understanding the big picture and not getting too clouded in the details. History makes us draw concise conclusions from massive amounts of information in a short period of time. This is what life demands from us constantly.
How has Wake Forest shaped your career? Wake Forest’s quality education and reputation got me to where I am now. To do well at Wake you have to be diligent, which is a valued skill no matter what you do or where you end up. Wake Forest also attracts many companies looking to recruit, bringing opportunities right to you. All you have to do is embrace the opportunity before you.
Tess Dennis, 2014
What are you currently doing? I work for a global mixed-signal semiconductor company called Silicon Labs in Austin, TX.
Basically it’s an engineering company that makes a range of products like Micro-controller units, Bluetooth devices, and sensors for the IoT (Internet of Things), and then a ton of different chips that go into products like TVs, cars, and wearables. One of our chips is actually in FitBits, which I think is super cool!
I work in HR Operations. Right now the coolest project I am working on is with IT and Legal trying to determine the best standard for data encryption for employee data, especially since Silicon Labs is a global company so the stringent regulations vary country by country. Facebook lost a big lawsuit about data privacy, so the laws are going to get even stricter, which is interesting and relevant to what I’m doing right now!
I plan on starting law school next year, and wanted to work in an environment and industry that was totally different, so tech in Austin seemed like a really cool place to be.
Why did you choose history as your major? A lot of people assume that History just means memorizing dates and places, but I loved it because it really is about so much more than that — the way Wake professors teach it, you learn about aspects and viewpoints that have been overlooked.
I also think so much of a History major lends itself to interdisciplinary studies, which in turn I believe helps people to be more tolerant and curious about the world around them.
Is there a particular skill you learned here that you value? It might not be important at my job right now what my History thesis was on, but learning how to work on such a long term project over the course of an entire semester has helped me with project management today.
Wake Forest in general, and History in particular, definitely helped hone my writing skills. It also taught me better time management and how to prioritize what’s important. Being around so many motivated people also made me try much harder than I might have otherwise, but also taught me to know when it was time to just chill.