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Hello from DC!

Sun over Washington Monument

Hi there! I’m Jackie, a 20-year-old junior studying a word salad of programs—my primary major is business administration, but I have an additional major in social and political history and a minor in politics and public policy as well. I’m currently in DC interning part-time at the National Women’s History Museum while doing the Washington Semester Program through CMU’s Institute for Politics and Strategy. If you’re interested, you can watch me awkwardly narrate my typical day of school and work in the “F20 Takeover!” highlight on the IPS Instagram page (@cmuips).

Selfie at the National Mall, Washington Monument in background

Walking around the National Mall!

How did I end up here?

If you knew me seven years ago, you might be surprised at my choice of major(s) today. In middle school, I wanted to be a pediatrician. By sophomore year of high school, I wanted to go into chemistry or some sort of engineering. I was actually trying to decide between applying to CIT or MCS when I first toured CMU the summer before senior year, but learning about Tepper made me realize there were several aspects of business (particularly in marketing) that I wanted to explore. I was very involved in a form of interscholastic academic competition called quizbowl, for which I had already been doing a range of organizing and advertising tasks. Tepper’s curriculum appealed to me because it encourages undergraduates to pick up minors or additional majors, so I knew I’d be able to pursue business while also studying more academic interests.

However, an additional history major was not at all what I had in mind when I came to CMU. I took an amazing social psychology course freshman fall and thought a psych minor would look great with a marketing concentration on my resume. Everyone talks about the employability of computer science skills, so I thought I should at least try for a minor in CS in order to land a “prestigious” consulting or tech-related internship. Psych and CS are obviously great programs, but it took me over a year to acknowledge that deep down, I really just liked humanities classes more. I rather spontaneously declared my history major last fall, and I’ve been enjoying it ever since.

So what do I want to do?

These days, I’m trying to figure out ways to combine my interest in history with my business education. My internship at the National Women’s History Museum has allowed me to explore real-world marketing and communications with historical content I am passionate about. But if there’s anything big I’ve realized in the past two years, it’s that I don’t need to know exactly what I want to do in life yet. Every new class or extracurricular lecture I attend plays a role in shaping the way I think about the world. My goal is to stay open-minded to new experiences and avoid comparing my personal progress to those around me. I’m confident that I can apply the variety of skills I’ve learned through the undergraduate business curriculum to whatever path I ultimately end up on, and I’m excited to continue discovering what that ever-changing path will be.