Alumni Voices

History major Robert Gonzalez graduated from FSU in Spring 2021. After graduation, he went to law school in Los Angeles to study entertainment law. Now as he is studying for the Bar exam, Gonzalez reflects on his time as a law student.

After completing her Ph.D., FSU History alumna Marina Ortiz began working as a Manuscript Clearance Advisor in FSU's Graduate School. Here, Dr. Ortiz shares her thoughts on transitioning from being a graduate student to working in Higher Education administration.

In this article, Dr. Eric Cris shares how his academic training helped him with his work both as a lobbyist and later as director of government affairs of a major company.

After graduating from FSU, Haley Davenport decided to volunteer for the U.S. Peace Corps. Here she shares her experiences living in Rwanda and working as an English teacher.

I completed my PhD at FSU in May 2018. I stayed in Tallahassee for another year, during which I taught at Florida State University and FAMU, before I took a position as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. After two years at Southern Miss, I decided to pivot and leave the faculty track of academia.

Christina Portuallo graduated with a BA in History in spring of 2021. She just completed her second year at FSU's College of Law. In this interview, Portuallo talks about how being a History major prepared her for law school.

Jordyn McTavish graduated with a BA in History from Florida State University in spring of 2022.
She just completed her first year at FSU’s College of Law. In this interview, McTavish shares how she prepared for law school and what sets law school apart from undergrad. Her thoughts on having been a History major in undergrad: "Law is a good option for History students. And History is a good option for students wanting to do law. History prepared me very well for law school."

While he was completing his PhD in History, Justin Vos joined the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability which is the non-partisan research office of the Florida legislature. In this interview, Vos describes his work responsibilities: conducting research, analyzing data, and writing reports on a variety of topics. Vos explains that historians "are trained to ask 'why' which is a valuable question that can get lost when just reporting data and numbers. Historians can look beyond the numbers to ask what the data is telling us. Historians are storytellers. They can help take numbers and turn them into a story with meaning."

In this interview, Taylor Tobias shares his experiences transitioning from graduate school to working as an assistant professor of History at Castleton University in Vermont. Tobias comments: "While not all parts of the move have been easy (Vermont’s bone-chilling, seven stages of winter have certainly been a hurdle for someone who has lived his whole life in Florida), I’ve nonetheless been surprised at how many of the new challenges at my job engage skills I learned at FSU."

Olivia Lanaghan double majored from Florida State University in History and Communication in the fall of 2021. For law school, she decided on Stetson University College of Law. In this interview, Lanaghan shares how she prepared for law school and what sets law school apart from undergrad.