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Elena Rousseau '16

As a transfer student to UMass Amherst, Elena felt that she had limited opportunities, having missed almost two years of relationship-building in the department and at the school. However, she writes, "the history department, along with the career development program, helped me to achieve my dreams and current career path.

"At the start of my UMass career, I was set on starting a career in secondary education, teaching history in high school. Through my classes, conversations, and career development program, I learned about other career paths for history majors, such as public history, museum work, and law school. The career development program helped me hone my resume skills, job fair skills, and interactions with recruiters. Through this work, I found an internship that would open up doors for me and set me on the right path.

"During the summer going into my senior year, I had an internship with a non-profit known as Boston Cares in Project Development. I essentially worked with various companies and corporations in the Boston area and helped place them in volunteer opportunities for their employees. Through working as a sort of consultant, I learned extensive analytical and critical thinking skills that were enhanced by my history skills as well. Prior to starting my internship, I had finally chosen a path that I wanted to embark on. I decided that I wanted to follow in my original career goals (before transferring) and go into retail, specifically wanting to be a buyer. I discovered The TJX Companies through a career fair that Mark Roblee had encouraged us to go through. My interactions with the recruiter gave me the opportunity to discuss the qualities that the company was looking for in their position, and I tailored my internship and my skills I learned to fit those skills.

"In June 2016, I started my dream job as an Allocation Analyst at The TJX Companies. Through the history department, career development program, and the ability to explore careers, I landed the job I've always wanted and am on a career path to become a buyer in the future. Thank you especially to Mark Roblee and Professor Joye Bowman in giving me the confidence to venture from the 'typical' history major path and start a job that is traditionally for business majors!"