College of Humanities and Social Sciences Alumni

Patricia McCourt

P. McCourt resized

Graduate Assistant and PhD Candidate for Mississippi State University

"My undergraduate major and the double minor which accompanies it have aided me immensely in establishing myself within my past and current career fields. I initially intended on teaching high school (hence the Secondary Education minor) but in the semester before my last where I student taught full-time, after much persuasion from some very supportive SHSU faculty, I made the commitment to pursuing a PhD in History the following year. Because I graduated in December of 2018, I had a full eight months before entering graduate school and I wanted to spend that time utilizing my degree.

As far as what my major course of study has done for me, I could go on forever. Majoring in any area of the Humanities has countless, sometimes overlooked and discredited, benefits. First and foremost, studying History had made and continues to make me a better writer. Written communication skills are lucrative to virtually any professional career. In writing (and reading) history, I have practiced looking at situations as objectively as possible, considering all potential outcomes and influential factors. Moreover, I see studying the past not just a means of understanding a present situation, but ultimately a better understanding of what it means to be human. Perhaps it goes without saying, but gaining insight as to how human beings behave and interact is absolutely priceless in and out of the professional sphere.

I would like to add that a college degree is not just a piece paper, though if you treat it that way, it might very well be. Put work, and I mean hard work, into your degree, and it will undoubtedly work for you."