Wednesday, October 28, 2009

diversity career day

I went to Diversity Career Day today... well, it is only Day 1.

Anyway, it was a pretty intimidating experience, considering that I was a second year history major. Not only were most companies looking for business-related majors, the fact that I was only a second year and not a third or fourth year ready to be snapped up for work turned off a lot of employers. However, I definitely did not go in there with the mindset of coming out with a job offer or an interview. Instead, as a good friend of mine pointed out, it was about noticing the way students stood when they talked to a prospective employer, or the clothes that an employer wore, or the fact that the employer had a clipboard with a checklist on it. (FYI, the way students stand is body language and can show interest levels and power dynamics, the clothes that employers wear reveals the culture of the company, and the checklist could show an early screening process and suggests lots of competition.)

Despite the fact that I looked snappy and I had 10 resumes printed out in my bag, I was still intimidated. Why is that? I think what bothered me the entire time at Diversity Career Day was the fact that I was shut down because I was a history major. The quick mental short or heuristic that many people take when they hear "history major" is a student with an obscure set of skills. Possibly images of dusty historians come to mind or a terrible experience with an eighth grade history teacher. Yet, I believe that as a history major, I am being taught to think, write, and even speak analytically. I am exposed to trends in history that continue on to this day, and gain a background in events that happen in the world today. Liberal arts degrees should be as recognized as business and engineering degrees. Or perhaps I am talking to the wrong employers, and there should be more employers who are looking for liberal art majors on Diversity Career Day.

I could probably keep on going, but I have to study for a midterm for tomorrow.