Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Studying History: Storytelling in the Office

In the first post of our blogging series by MSBA students about how their undergraduate majors are serving them in graduate business school, Joe Fiocco talks about the value of having a Bachelor's in History.


History looks like Dungeons and Dragons to people who don't enjoy it: a collection of lingo you have to memorize and regurgitate. What most don't realize is that a background in history has tangible benefits for a career in business though. Just ask Carly Fiorina or Martha Stewart.
I don't like stating my position without evidence, analysis, or context. Reading primary source documents and arguing my interpretation cultivates an attention to detail and the ability to track changes in behavior and trends over time. In a business context, employers desire employees who can detect nuance and analyze figures beyond what numbers express. A background in history lets an employee weave different factors of the environment together into a clear narrative, whether it’s assessing new technology, scoping out the competition, or organizing a marketing survey.
Studying history facilitates communication, for writing and presentation demonstrates understanding of the source material. The business climate places a premium on condensing information for those purposes. History majors also understand the importance of a logical assembly and argumentation of the facts. That’s why businesses would seek out a history student to draft and prepare reports, memos, speeches, or presentations. In my new program and my internship, I intend to showcase my talents to the fullest.

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