Fans of the History Department will be happy to know that Sarah Hummel ’19 has made some news down at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. Hummel used Institute memorabilia to construct two displays, including one that appears in the New Hampshire Political Library. For more information, check out the press release on the Saint Anselm College web site.
This semester, Lily-Gre Hitchen ’18, a History major from Auburn, New Hampshire, is interning with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. One Thing after Another caught up with Hitchen and asked her about her experiences
Q: What made you decide to do an internship?
A: Ever since I was in grade school I’ve been interested in the courts, lawyers, and the law in general. When I first entered Saint Anselm College, I seriously considered the possibility of going to law school afterwards. Now being a junior, I decided to do an internship that would answer questions that have been brewing since I was a freshman. What do lawyers do? What type of work can a person do in the legal field? What is it like to work with the law? Would I like that type of work? This internship for me was all about discovery; I wanted my questions answered with experience.
Based on my time spent at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES), I would recommend internships to my fellow history majors. I think they are very important in seeing firsthand how skills learned in history classes can be applied to the “real world.” If there is the time and opportunity, I highly recommend completing an internship that is of interest.
Q: What intrigued you about NH DES in particular?
A: The initial thought of working at the NH DES excited me. The main reason that I was intrigued is that I am a huge nature lover, and I care for New Hampshire’s environment in particular. I am from a small town, and I have always enjoyed the outdoors. My home state is very special to me, and I wanted to be able to protect its environment. DES was a great place to pursue my passions.
Q: Can you describe a typical day at the office?
A: I am responsible for a wide variety of tasks at the DES. During a typical day, most of my time is spent working independently on an assigned project. My assignments can range from proofreading legal documents for cross-referencing errors and creating tables expressing the changes in a set of laws to creating draft decisions on environmental fine cases. Drafting fine case decisions are my favorite projects to work on because there are so many facets in making a decision. I read through the file while analyzing the case’s chronology of events, I listen to the fine hearing, and then I draft a document explaining if I think the respondents committed a violation. After I complete the draft, I pass it on for review. When I am not working independently, I am sitting in on meetings or fine hearings.
Q: Are you finding your history skills useful in your legal work?
A: My history skills have helped me in ways that I had never expected. I think the most important history skills that I have used are reading critically, paying attention to detail, not making assumptions, and being skeptical. Using these skills I have spotted mistakes in numerous documents, whether it is in their structure or chronology. Also, being able to formulate a chronology and possessing the ability to point out errors in an already provided chronology is an expertise that history majors are taught and expected to master. However, I never knew that this particular skill would be useful in the working world.
Q: What has been the hardest part of translating your classroom skills into the workplace?
A: The most difficult part of translating my classroom abilities to the workplace was asking questions. In a classroom, a professor is either always open to questions, or specifically asks, “Are there any questions?” However, in a new workplace it is sometimes a balancing act trying to find the appropriate time to ask a question. I did not want to be an annoyance, so at first I was reluctant to speak up. Over the first week, I realized that I did not need to be reluctant when asking questions; I just needed to be respectful. Everyone is busy in the office, so I only ask questions when I cannot continue my work without it being answered. Being concise when asking questions is also a part of respecting their time.
Q: So what do you do to after a busy week of classes and internship?
A: Most of my time outside my classes and internship goes towards the family business. My mother owns a hair salon, Salon OPA, so I have many responsibilities there that I am proud of. I manage the inventory, cash customers out, answer phone calls, and make appointments. I also have my apprentice license in cosmetology and makeup certification, so I can perform some services. One of the most rewarding parts of working at the salon is selling wigs to women who are going through cancer treatment or have alopecia. Working at the salon has given me a joy for business, and the appreciation of entrepreneurs of all kinds.
Lili Kane ’16 (Lynn, MA) had scarcely graduated last May before she obtained a real plum of a job (involving history no less!) with Brown Brothers Harriman in Boston, MA. One Thing after Another contacted Kane to ask her about her experiences at Saint. Anselm College and her new position.
On November 1, at 7 PM, Kane will appear with other alums at the Living Learning Commons (new dorm) to discuss career opportunities for History majors. Appearing with her will be:
- Lisa Palone ’95, Editorial Research Manager, WGBH (where she is the content manager for the Emmy-winning public affairs program, Frontline)
- Dan Puopolo ’98, Managing Director, NextShares Solutions LLC
- Stephen Shorey ’11, Staff Attorney, Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Public Records Division
Q: What brought you to Saint Anselm College, and why did you major in History?
A: I came to Saint Anselm College not only because of the fantastic food and gorgeous campus, but also because of the sense of opportunity. I knew I wanted to attend a college that was academically challenging and offered small class sizes so I could easily engage in class conversations and get to know my professors personally. I also valued how invested the school was in setting up volunteer opportunities around Manchester. Saint Anselm College immediately created a sense of community for me, and I never for a second regretted my choice.
When I started my freshman year, I had yet to declare a major, but I knew I was interested in history. I’ve always loved to read, so I decided to take a couple of history courses. The introductory course I took with Professor Masur (History 100: Introduction to the Study of History) was challenging, intriguing, and super fun. At the time (and even at graduation) I had no idea what I was going to be doing with a history degree, but that didn’t matter because I knew I was receiving a strong education and that was all the confidence I needed.
Q: Back in July, you landed a job as an Enterprise Services Senior Specialist at Brown Brothers Harriman in Boston, MA. Tell us a little bit about the firm and what you do there.
A: Established in 1818, Brown Brothers Harriman is the largest private bank in North America and by far the oldest. A linen merchant by the name of Alexander Brown emigrated from Ireland to Baltimore where he created a private, family-owned merchant bank with his four sons. Strategic investments and innovative business decisions have transformed Brown Brothers Harriman from leaders in merchant banking and transatlantic trade to an integrated worldwide financial services firm. My role as an Enterprise Services Senior Specialist has given me a unique perspective on the firm. I work in General Administration where I help the team with any administrative support, but my main focus is on managing the firm’s historical archives and research.
With the firm’s bicentennial (in 2018) quickly approaching, my knowledge of the firm’s past will prove helpful to any department looking for historical information. Also, since Brown Brothers Harriman is very proud of its history and longevity, it is publishing a book that will tell the story of their last 200 years—and I will be assisting the author in his research!
Q: In what ways do you think your history background might have helped you obtain the job and prepare you to undertake the tasks associated with your position?
A: If it had not been for my history background, I am certain I would not have this role at Brown Brothers Harriman. I had applied for an entry-level operations position, and a woman from HR contacted me about this role because my major at Saint Anselm caught her eye. Brown Brothers Harriman was looking for someone who could do research, enjoyed history, and was able to multitask while doing additional administrative work. When I went for the interview, I told my future boss that this role had my name written all over it. I still have a lot of researching ahead of me, but with the skills I learned at Saint Anselm—how to actively read, critically think, and look at the bigger picture—I have no doubt that I will succeed in this role.
Q: While you were at Saint Anselm College, you also minored in Communication and got an internship with the Office of College Communications and Marketing (CCM). What were the tasks associated with this internship? What did you learn that helped you at Brown Brothers Harriman?
A: My internship with the Office of Communications and Marketing really helped me develop my writing skills. In my history classes, I was always a decent writer, but I frequently struggled with getting all my thoughts effectively on paper. As an intern at CCM, my daily tasks were to draft news stories for the college website. I never realized how challenging journalistic writing was. My experience as an intern at CCM strengthened my ability to write in a simpler manner, which is valuable in my role at Brown Brothers Harriman since what I write there tends to be shorter (e.g. informative news blurbs) than, say, a history research paper.
I truly cannot emphasize enough how important internships are. I felt so confident in myself when this job began because I knew I had the education and a significant amount of experience that could all be tied into this role.
Q: You’re from Lynn, MA. What’s the best thing about your hometown besides Marshmallow Fluff?
A: Well, fluff is pretty awesome, BUT what I think the best thing about Lynn is that we’re called the City of Firsts. Lynn had the first baseball game under artificial light, the first iron works, first fire engine, and a bunch of other stuff. But I bet you’ll never guess that Lynn had the FIRST roast beef sandwich. Marshmallow Fluff and roast beef—Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin likes classy food.
Recently, History and English double-major Ginger Gates ’17 (Pembroke, NH) was profiled in the Saint Anselm Crier because of her summer internship at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
One Thing after Another took advantage of this opportunity to ask Gates a few questions about her experiences over the summer
Q: One Thing After Another understands you interned with the NH Department of Environmental Services in Concord, NH this summer. What drew you to that internship?
A: I think it’s important for students and young people to be aware and well-informed about the environmental issues that the state and country as a whole face. I saw this internship as a crucial opportunity to learn more about the state of New Hampshire’s environmental concerns and to help address them in any way that I could. The NHDES Groundwater and Drinking Water Bureau’s archive of rules and regulations date back to the late 1800s; it was my job to organize these rules and create an online matrix of each rule and its different versions. This project combined two of my passions: history and law. From reading the rules alone, you can see distinct shifts in attitudes about water conservation and water safety. A state’s laws and regulations can really tell you a lot about what that state values. New Hampshire values its great outdoors, its lakes and mountains, and its bright fall foliage. Especially during this period of extreme drought, it’s important to understand the rules and why they are in place so that individuals and businesses can do their part in conserving water.
Q: How did your major in history and the skills you’ve learned in that major help you in this internship?
A: As a history major, one of the most important skills I’ve learned is how to articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and concisely. While interviewing for this position, my employers were impressed by my ability to communicate well and effectively. Studying history has taught me to evaluate and solve problems efficiently. Because of the nature of my internship, I was given a lot of freedom to change how I approached creating the matrix. There were many times when these problem-solving skills were helpful in creating a clear, user-friendly, and accessible document.
Q: This must have been an interesting summer to work for that agency, given two key water issues happening in the state—extreme drought and ground water contamination with volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). Were you working on anything related to these issues?
A: I wasn’t directly working on these issues, but when water safety and level is affected, everyone is affected. When my boss gave me opportunities to shadow fieldwork, it was evident how detrimental this summer’s drought has been. Lake Massabesic, the reservoir that supplies drinking water for the Manchester area, has dropped four feet over the summer to a level that hasn’t been seen in a hundred years. Many private well systems in the southern part of the state have gone dry in the past months. We take for granted how accessible water is, and when it’s not readily available, that entirely changes your perspective and how you go about your daily routine.
Q: Did you have an interest in environmental issues before this internship?
A: Yes. The problems of the environment are everyone’s problems. Regardless of whether or not climate change has been caused by human action, the issue remains. It is truly the most pressing concern my generation faces now and in the next fifty years.
Q: What benefits did you get from your internship?
A: As in all internships that require interacting with others, my communication and writing skills developed throughout the summer. The NHDES is a large and diverse office, and the people I worked with were a joy to get know, which makes any internship or job much more pleasant. Learning about individual water systems, how vital water is to our everyday lives, and how important the laws and regulations that govern water use and water filtration really gave me a new perspective on water use and enforcement. Only fifty years ago water filtration was just a few metal screens of varying size and a chemical treatment. We can thank the EPA and the Safe Drinking Water Act for the strict regulations that are now in place.
I’ve always been interested in pursuing a law degree after graduation, and this internship strengthened that desire. I had never thought of going into environmental law until this summer, but seeing how vital our natural resources are to our entire lives, it’s something I have an interest in.
Q: You are a senior this year. What are you most looking forward to in your last year at Saint Anselm College?
A: I’m really looking forward to completing my thesis—not only to have it done and not have to worry about it anymore, but to have a cohesive and substantial piece of writing to show future employers or schools.
I’ve developed a new appreciation for the beauty of nature, so I’m really looking forward to seeing this campus move through all the seasons, especially autumn. Hopefully the foliage will still be as colorful, despite the drought!
For the past four years, I’ve really developed great relationships with professors and fellow students. I’m looking forward to continuing to build those relationships and learning as much as I can before I’ve completed my undergraduate degree. There’s a lot to look forward to in the future, so I’m excited to see what it holds.
Many people don’t realize that the relatively new American Studies major is housed within the History Department. Katie Muzzy ’15 was one of the first American Studies majors to graduate from Saint Anselm College. Aside from her major, Katie also minored in Gender Studies as well as Sociology and was a Presidential Scholar. She is now enrolled at UNH Law School as a Warren Rudman Fellow. One Thing after Another asked Katie about her experiences at both Saint Anselm College and law school.
Q: You are from Henniker, NH, just down the road from Saint Anselm College. Why did you choose St. A’s?
A: I chose St. A’s for the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. None of the other colleges I looked at had anything close to the NHIOP’s hands-on opportunities for students to get involved in politics.
Q: When you entered St. A’s, American Studies was a new major to the college. What made you choose that as your major?
A: I actually applied to St. A’s as a politics major. About a month before freshman year, I went on the first ever Passages trip. We traveled to Gettysburg, and it was amazing. Fr. William went to Philadelphia with us, and he helped me realize that I wanted to study history. Right away, when I got home from Passages, I did research into the different majors at St. A’s. I had no idea that American Studies was a new major, but I was interested in the flexibility and variety of courses. I changed my major on the first day of freshman orientation.
Q: You had several internships while you were a student at St. A’s. Tell me about those. Did you have a favorite? How did your coursework prepare you for the internships?
A: I had quite a few different internships while I was at St. A’s.
My freshman year, I spent a week interning for ABC during the presidential primary debate. I was lucky enough to be the stand-in for Diane Sawyer while the crew set up the stage and lights for the debate. For several days, the student stand-ins held mock debates in front of several producers for ABC.
The summer before my junior year, I interned for New Hampshire Public Radio’s The Exchange. I met Laura Knoy, the show’s host, and Keith Shields, the show’s producer, during a congressional debate while I was working as a student ambassador down at NHIOP. As an intern, I did research, learned about production, and screened calls during the show.
The summer before my senior year, I interned at the New Hampshire YWCA’s domestic violence and sexual assault crisis center. The opportunity stemmed from a sociology class I took called Family Violence, for which I started volunteering on the YWCA’s crisis line. I completed thirty hours of training on domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy. I found my work on the crisis line so rewarding that I decided to interview for a summer internship in the office. As a crisis center intern, I assisted clients over the phone, in the office, at the courthouse, at the police station, and in the hospital.
During the spring semester of my senior year, I interned for the Public Policy Team of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. This was the internship that all of my other internships and classes prepared me for. Specifically, I wrote my senior thesis about the first federal legislation that provided funding for domestic violence shelters. My research fueled an interest in the public policy aspect of domestic violence and sexual assault. As the legislative intern, I spent the semester in the State House attending hearings, researching legislation, and even testifying in front of the House and Senate finance committees about the importance of domestic violence legislation.
I loved all of my internships but my favorite one was with the Coalition. It helped reaffirm my life path and led me to where I am today.
Q: You are now in your first year of law school at UNH. Why did you choose to attend law school? You (unless I am mistaken) were named a Warren Rudman Fellow at UNH Law; that’s a very prestigious award. Tell us about that.
A: I have wanted to go to law school since I visited the Massachusetts State House on a field trip in eleventh grade. During college, I refined my passions and realized in what area of the law I want to practice. My initial instinct, perhaps encouraged by my American Studies major, was to go to law school far away from New Hampshire, in a totally new region of the country. During my internship with the Coalition, I realized how much I love Concord and the New Hampshire State House. When I finally visited the UNH School of Law, which is located within walking distance of the State House, I loved it right away.
As part of my application to UNH, I applied for the Warren B. Rudman fellowship, which is awarded to two incoming 1L students with a demonstrated interest in pursuing public interest law after graduating law school. I did not think I had a chance of obtaining this recognition, but several months later I got called for an interview. On the day of my interview, I was driving straight from the law school to go to a round table on human trafficking with Senator Jeanne Shaheen for my internship. I will never forget that day because it’s the day I knew that I would be staying in New Hampshire for the long haul.
I’m in law school because I want to help survivors of domestic and sexual violence. I do not yet know exactly what type of law career I will have, but I am excited to take advantage of every opportunity I can while I’m at UNH Law.
Q: How do you think your St. A’s education prepared you for law school?
A: The most influential part of my St. A’s education was my experience on the debate team. My coach, Dave Trumble, taught me everything I know about being confident and competent, being a good researcher and writer, and being a poised and eloquent speaker. Ironically, I never even considered joining the debate team until I heard about it during the pre-law information session of my freshman orientation. I genuinely do not think I would have made it through college without the support of Dave and my teammates.
Q: Are you enjoying law school?
A: I really am! I try to think of school as a job. I’m either in class or doing homework at least from 9-5 every weekday, plus a solid weekend day of studying. It is completely different from college but it’s a very exciting time of my life.
Q: I’m sure law school is hard work, but surely you have to relax sometime. What do you do for fun?
A: I just got a kitten! Also I am newly engaged. Additionally, I try to do yoga as often as I can, and I am learning how to cook now that I live in my first apartment.
Last summer, Katie Corbett ’16, a History major and English minor from Reading, MA, obtained an internship that placed her on Appledore Island, one of the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire. The position required her to split time between the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH, and the Shoals Marine Laboratory (on the island), which is run jointly by Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire. One Thing after Another asked Katie about her unusual experiences this summer.
Q: How did you get interested in public history—that is, history presented to the general public outside of an academic setting?
A: I first got interested in public history after I volunteered last summer as a historic roleplayer at the Andover Historical Society in Andover, MA. As a volunteer, I would speak to visiting third grade classes and talk about the differences between what daily life was like in the 1820s and what it’s like today. I was already interested in teaching history after taking ED 130: Principles of Teaching and Learning at Saint Anselm College, and it was neat to see how much the students, even at their young age, learned on this field trip experience.
Q: How did you find out about the internship at Strawbery Banke? Why did you decide to apply there?
A: I first found out about the position at Strawbery Banke when I was looking for a summer internship. I hoped to interact with the public on a larger scale than at the Historical Society. I also wanted a setting where the visitors would learn about what life was like in various eras as well as experience the actual atmosphere of each one as featured in a historic house. I had a lot of fun doing this type of thing at the Historical Society, and I wanted to experience what that would be like in a larger museum setting.
With this in mind, it is actually kind of a funny story of how I ended up working at a marine laboratory as a Garden Interpretation Intern. Initially, I had applied to the Education Department at Strawbery Banke, and I actually was passed over for the position there when the internship’s start date conflicted with when I would be returning to the US after participating in a summer study abroad session at the University of Limerick in Ireland. However, my application was then found by another person in the Education Department who had been charged with finding someone to intern at the Shoals Marine Laboratory as the “Celia Thaxter’s Island Garden Interpretation Intern.” Knowing that I had made it far in the application and interview process for the Strawbery Banke position, she recommended me for a position at the marine lab on Appledore Island. This internship was actually shared by Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML) and Strawbery Banke. Every Sunday, I would travel by boat to Portsmouth to live on the museum property at Strawbery Banke, and then I would return to the island every Wednesday.
Q: What was the job description for your internship at Strawbery Banke? What was a typical day like?
A: At SML, my responsibilities consisted of extensively researching the life and legacy of Celia Laighton Thaxter, who was a prominent literary figure in the late 19th century. In addition, I also looked into the significance of her garden, the subject of her most famous book, An Island Garden (1894). I would also participate in the guided tours that came to the island to learn about Appledore’s natural and cultural history. Using the information I had gathered from my research, I would speak to groups about Celia’s garden and its significance as well as answer any questions that groups had about Celia, her family, and their impact on island life as a whole.
At Strawbery Banke, I did a variety of things. When I was initially conducting my research on Thaxter, I used the resources available at the Portsmouth Public Library and the Portsmouth Athenaeum. After awhile, I started to observe aspects of the Education Department, shadowing a camp for teenagers interested in historic roleplaying. I also observed how the adult historic roleplayers studied to develop their characters and how they interacted with visitors as these characters.
Q: What was your favorite part about this internship?
A: There were so many things that I loved about this internship. It was really neat to be involved with the marine lab because almost every other intern there was doing scientific research and, through our intern meetings, we each got to learn about what everyone was studying and how they were progressing throughout the summer. Appledore Island is one of nine islands among the Isles of Shoals, located off the coast of Portsmouth, NH, and it was interesting to find out more about the other islands there. I was also interested in learning about what it takes to live on an island, especially when you have to be aware of conserving fresh water and electricity.
I would have to say though that my favorite part was being able to use everything that I have learned at Saint Anselm College about the application and analysis of history in a real world setting. This experience really put into perspective what I was capable of doing—particularly in terms of teaching a specific aspect of history to people who were generally interested in learning about it.
Q: You grew up in Reading, MA. Tell us something interesting about your hometown that outsiders might not have already known.
A: Growing up in Reading, I was fortunate enough to live really close to Boston and other towns of historical significance, so that it was really convenient to go visit a different town for the day without traveling any longer than 30 minutes to an hour out of my way.
Manchester native Derek Dufresne ’08 graduated from Saint Anselm College as a History major with certificates in Medieval Studies and Public Policy (before we had minors, we had “certificates”). In addition, Dufresne took pre-med coursework during his last year at the college. After a somewhat winding road, Dufresne became co-founder of RightOn Strategies, a political consulting firm, where he is now a partner. One Thing after Another recently contacted Dufresne and asked him to describe the path that led him from Saint Anselm College and a History major to political consulting.
Q: You grew up here, and Saint Anselm College was practically in your backyard. What made you decide to go to school locally?
A: Growing up in Manchester, I attended small, Catholic schools from the very beginning. After graduating from Trinity High School in 2003, I thought it might be the right time to try something new and live somewhere outside of New Hampshire. After much consideration, I went to the University of Connecticut for my freshmen year of college. While my grades were strong and I enjoyed living away from home, at a school the size of UConn, it might sound like a cliché, but you quickly realize that you are just one among tens of thousands of other students. Coming from a high school with a graduating class of 112, I was more accustomed to challenging courses taught by professors who knew you by your name, not by your student identification number. Through conversations with friends who were already on the Hilltop, I knew I would receive the kind of education I was accustomed to and find the community I was looking for at Saint Anselm College. I made the decision to become a Hawk, and I couldn’t be happier about my choice.
Q: How did you become a history major?
A: Indecision is a curse of our youth, but it can also be a blessing in disguise as long as you are willing to take risks. Like many of my fellow classmates, I remember hours of stressful conversations with my high school guidance counselors and countless online quizzes with the headline, “what should my future job be?” While I wish I had begun my college career as a history major, it took me some time to make my way into Professor Silvia Shannon’s office with my final decision. I dabbled in different majors, from those within the Economics and Business Department to those in Political Science. Like many of my peers, I was trying to mold my college major to fit my future career—something that was incredibly difficult considering I was still unsure of what I wanted to do after college.
Due to my willingness to explore different classes, I finally came to the realization that my major should reflect my interests and the courses I enjoyed the most; my career would shape itself around that premise, which led me to become a history major. I kept that same mindset throughout my college career with the minors and additional classes I decided to pursue, and it served me well.
Q: In your fifth year at the college, you completed pre-med coursework. What directed you down that path?
A: Towards the end of my time at Saint Anselm College, I started to gain interest in possibly pursuing a future in medicine. While you can go to medical school with any major, it is standard for most programs to require students to have multiple semesters of top-level courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and others. I’ll admit that it certainly wasn’t easy squeezing all of the additional classes in, especially considering that I was also finishing up a couple of minors (which were then called “certificates”) in Public Policy and Medieval Studies. However, I stayed focused, completed all of the courses, and performed well on the MCATs. I ended up deciding against going to medical school, but I am still thankful I heightened and broadened my knowledge in those subject areas.
Q: Shortly after graduation, you ended up on the staff of Frank Guinta who was then the mayor of Manchester. How did that happen?
A: It all began with an internship. If there is only one piece of advice I could give an incoming or current student, it is to do as many job shadows or internships as possible. The opportunities they open and the insights they give you about the direction of your future career is priceless.
My interest in politics led me to an internship in former Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta’s office, which then grew into a job on his campaign staff, and fortunately, into a spot on his congressional staff. While House of Cards makes a career in politics look glamorous, it is rarely that easy, and the competition is grueling. In Washington, I started as a lower-level legislative aid surviving on Ramen Noodles for dinner and Red Box rentals for entertainment, but I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. I worked my way up the ranks and, when the two-year congressional term concluded, I had earned the title of Communications Director. While many at Saint Anselm College who love politics immediately gravitate towards the NHIOP, a major in History prepared me just as well, if not better, in certain areas, for the career direction I ultimately decided to pursue.
A profession in politics, in many ways, gives one the ability to make history. I had the opportunity to see legislation that I helped write get voted on in Congress. I stood in Statuary Hall with scores of reporters waiting for the President of the United States to finish his State of the Union address just feet away from me. Those are just a couple of examples of extraordinary moments during my time on Capitol Hill that I will never forget. In my opinion, a love of history in the classroom is the prefect fit for a future career of contributing to history through politics or government work.
Q: One Thing after Another remembers running into you some years ago outside of the NHIOP. At the time, you thought that your career could go in several different directions. Why did you eventually choose political consultancy?
A: Opening up your own business is certainly risky, especially in politics, but I was fortunate to have the opportunity about two years ago to start RightOn Strategies with two of my closest friends in the business.
Being a staffer on campaigns in New Hampshire and in government positions on Capitol Hill were extremely rewarding, but co-founding a national political consulting firm has built even further upon those experiences. We have clients from many different backgrounds and have run races in all corners of the country. With each new candidate or project we take on, I have more opportunities to learn something new about a different state or develop a new strategy to help win a future campaign. Thus, by being a political consultant on the national level, I have had the chance to broaden my skills and improve my abilities more than I would ever have been able to if I had only worked in New Hampshire or as a Capitol Hill staffer.
Q: For some reason, many of our students never get to know Manchester particularly well. Is there some place in town that our students have not heard about but must visit?
A: While my first inclination is to say the Puritan Backroom for some of the best chicken tenders you will ever eat, there is nothing like walking through Manchester’s Millyard along the Merrimack River. Especially for students who are not from New Hampshire, it is worth taking a trip to the Millyard Museum first to learn more about the area and the immigrants who used to work there. Most New England cities have razed a lot of their mills. To see so many of them refurbished in one place and just as beautiful as they were over a hundred years ago is worth taking in.