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Aryn Denette

Degree: Master of Arts in History

When (what year) did you graduate? 2015

What were some of the most rewarding/influential classes in your major? Atlantic Slave Trade, Colonial/Revolutionary America, Historiography, and Research in History

Where did you live? Conway

What groups did you belong to? (honors societies, RSOs, etc): None

Did you participate in any experiences outside the classroom in your major field? (History Day, internships, Phi Alpha Theta field trips…): State History Day 2014 and 2015; worked with History Day students at a workshop day at the Clinton Library Center in 2014. I also worked as a Graduate Assistant with the History department for two years.

What other experiences did you have that enriched your time as a student at UCA?(study abroad, service learning, conference presentations, undergraduate research, honors thesis, etc.): Graduate Thesis; mock conference in HIST 6371

What did you plan to do with your degree? Teach at a Community College or work in a History related field, such as at a museum or archive.

How are you using your degree? I was hired as the assistant archivist at UCA in April of 2015.

What disciplinary skills do you use most often in your current job? Research skills are crucial in the archives. Often times we have patrons come to the archives with a vague project in mind. The visitor might want to look at material on soldiers’ experiences during World War II. I then have to decide what material will best fit the visitor’s needs. This requires historical knowledge as well as an understanding of research methods.

What are your plans? What will your degree allow you to do/accomplish as you move forward? With my Masters and two years of experience in the archives, I will be eligible to take an exam to become a certified archivist. Certification will open doors for me to work at larger institutions around the country if I choose to leave UCA, or if I stay, give me the opportunity for promotion.

What is the most surprising/unexpected thing you learned about yourself during your time as a MA student at UCA? I am a stress eater! In all seriousness, I learned that completing my Masters has been the most difficult, yet most rewarding of my academic achievements. Though at times I felt like I was not cut out for academia, I did enjoy researching and creating my thesis. Discussions in classes were stimulating and I enjoyed getting to know a group of peers who will do great things in their respective fields.

What advice would you give someone who wants to get a MA in history? Be prepared for a challenge. Look forward to learning what are your strengths and weaknesses. When I was told by my Graduate Advisor that working on my MA would be entirely different from earning my BA, it did not sink in until I started the program what exactly he meant. My time as a Graduate student was fun and rewarding, but I was definitely stretched intellectually like I have never been before. But looking back, I am glad that the professors pushed and encouraged me to do the best work I could possibly do. So work hard, have fun, and treat yourself to some ice cream every now and then.