Alexandra Koch, a University of Dallas Politics and German double major, has been named a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. In the fall of 2019, she will travel to Germany to teach English for a ten month assignment.

“Seeing the legacy of Fulbrighters at UD, especially in the German Department,” partly inspired Koch to apply for the prestigious scholarship the first time she visited the University of Dallas. “I distinctly remember meeting a Fulbright recipient and thinking that maybe could be me one day.”

Alexandra Koch

Koch said she is foremost excited to become an ambassador of the United States and member of the local community. Her project for the Fulbright’s grant proposal focuses on community service, such as volunteering with the church and getting involved at the local level. “I hope to be a caring community member and a good representative of the US to show that there are more to Americans that the international media might present,” she said. Koch is also looking forward to the opportunity to reach a higher level of fluency in the German language.

Koch had an impressive resume to strengthen her application to the scholarship. Besides international work and study abroad experience in Germany and Rome, Koch is also very involved in the UD community. She is a part of the UD Senate, the German club president, a German language tutor, and part of a mentoring program. She also mentioned that taking a language pedagogy class prepared her for the challenge of teaching a foreign language abroad and strengthened her application.

Koch expressed that “receiving the Fulbright could open doors in the future and help provide clarity about my interest in foreign service and international affairs.”

For anyone considering applying for the Fulbright, Koch suggested applying and meeting with professors and advisors as early as possible because it is a very lengthy process.

Visit the OPCD to get more information about prestigious scholarships, for interview practice, and resume advice.

To schedule an appointment with a career counselor, click here.

UD Senior Presents at Coral Reef Conference

UD Senior Presents at Coral Reef Conference

“Being in a professional environment and sharing your own research is a grounding experience. It’s so cool to see so many people interested in the same thing you are, and an awesome feeling to be somewhere where everyone is just as excited as you are about your research.”

This is how John Paul Dieffenthaller described attending and presenting at the Reef Futures Conference in December 2018 in Key Largo, Florida. Dieffenthaller, a senior biology major, presented a coral restoration project, an ongoing research project he and several others have been working on in the University of Dallas biology department.

Explaining that fifty percent of the world’s coral is dead, Dieffenthaller advocated that this decline is not something to be ignored. “The coral reef is so important, because it has many uses: medicine, food, and an essential part in marine life.” Dieffenthaller started doing research with Dr. Deanna Soper of UD’s biology department last summer. He and his co-researchers are looking at how to restore the coral reef’s former state through microfragmentation, a process used to accelerate coral growth, and are collecting data for a biochemical explanation for the success of this process.

On December 14, 2018, Dieffenthaller attended the Reef Futures Conference presented by the Reef Restoration Consortium. His poster presentation focused on the Hippo Growth Pathway in Orbicella faveolata, or a mountainous star coral, a critically-endangered species.

As he had never presented before to that big of an audience, Dieffenthaller expressed that he hadn’t known what to expect from the experience. “It was amazing. Seeing that this subject is being investigated worldwide, making those connections, and getting to talk with coral reef experts taught me so many different things. It helped provide direction on where to take our project in the future.”

Dieffenthaller said that the perspective gained in the conference altered his group’s project in subtle ways.  “We are looking at why microfragmentation works on a more specific, molecular level, rather than taking the broader perspective and measures like most approaches, like planting more coral.”

In terms of advice for those attending or considering attending a scientific conference, Dieffenthaller mentioned that it is very important to prepare in advance, and avoid last-minute preparation. If worried about how your research will be received and how much interest it will attract, he encouraged, “Don’t worry about people not being interested, because people will want to inquire. It felt natural, and after, you realize you’ve learned a lot.”

Dieffenthaller’s future plans include pursuing a Master’s degree in Education in order to teach biology and keep advocating for coral restoration.

Intern Spotlight: Katie Macaulay

Intern Spotlight: Katie Macaulay

“Whatever you do in the professional world, it is important to have a strong work ethic and have strong mentality. I learned that taking advantage of every opportunity and networking is so, so important.”

This is what Katie Macaulay, a senior economics major, came to realize during her internship with Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Bellevue, Washington in the summer of 2018.

Having heard great things about the Enterprise internship program, Macaulay pro-actively connected to a recruiter in addition to applying online. In preparation for the extensive interview process and knowing that they were looking for hardworking people who were excited about Enterprise, she learned all she could about the company.

“It is so important to know why you want to work at a company before an interview. I organized reasons beforehand on why I wanted to work there specifically and spent time in the preparation.” Macaulay noted that her interviewer was impressed by how much prior research she had obviously done. “He could tell I cared about wanting it and knowing it.”

Enterprise Rent-A-Car has a structured internship program that includes shadowing, a week of training in daily operations, networking, and talks. “It was a very structured and well-organized program, because they were really supportive and provided great mentors.”

Macaulay and her fellow interns were also responsible for a very hands-on project over the summer. She worked in inside sales, looking at how to boost sales on damage waivers. She set clear goals for herself and, at the end of the summer, presented to Enterprise area managers and Regional VPs for western Washington on her project.

“Higher-ups want to see how you interact with others and how you incorporate things within the job. If you take the tasks they give you seriously, they will notice and admire you. The more comfortable I got in my position, the more managers pushed me.” Over the summer, Macaulay earned managerial trust and was given more complex tasks, such as going to outside sales or marketing.

One aspect Macaulay had not expected was how much she appreciated the people and the structure of Enterprise: “I didn’t know internal structure would be so important and apparent in everyday operations. The company really takes care of their employees and develops amazing customer loyalty. It made a huge impression on me that they would do anything for their customers, instead of just chasing profits.”

An internship can change your professional aspects or aspirations. At the end of the internship, Enterprise extended a post-graduation job offer to Macaulay, which she accepted.

Macaulay expressed how much she had been able to take in from this experience. “You learn a lot from a very successful company. It was very much an entrepreneurial experience, because I was able to witness their exponential growth, long term decisions, and a successful business model.”

For tips on a successful job or internship interview, click here.

To schedule an appointment with a career counselor, click here.



OPCD’s annual Job Fair is on Thursday, February 7, from 4:00- 6:00pm in the SB Hall Multipurpose Room. Some careful preparation can help you make a lasting impression and could lead to a great summer internship or even a full-time position after graduation.

Here are some things recruiters will notice:

  • Dress professionally.
  • Do your research and come prepared to talk to the companies that most interest you, but it’s not necessary to be an expert on every company. 
  • Work on your “elevator pitch.” It should include your name, your major, your expected graduation date, and your career goals.
  • While talking with a recruiter, give some insight into what you hope to do and highlight one or two key pieces of your resume.

A few more tips from the OPCD Career Counselors:

  • Be prepared to talk about not only what experience you have, but also what you hope to do in the future.
  • Thoughtful questions about an employer’s business will make a good impression.
  • Practice your elevator pitch, but don’t memorize it. You want to come across as personable and confident. If this kind of activity is outside your comfort zone, practice with a friend.
  • Bring extra copies of your resume in a padfolio or a plain folder.
  • Try not to be nervous about talking to employers. They will be there to meet you, and they want to hear about you.

The job fair is a great opportunity- don’t miss it!

To view a list of employers who will be present at the job fair, click here.



University of Dallas students apply annually to a multitude of prestigious post-graduation scholarships and fellowships. One such UD student, Kelsey Reese, a junior business major, is applying for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

The Truman Scholarship is a highly competitive federal scholarship, granted to college juniors who are pursuing a graduate education and demonstrate leadership potential and a commitment to public service. Applicants create their application around a particular social issue that they want to make a contribution to and write a policy proposal on how they plan to do so.

Kelsey Reese

Reese’s project centers on the prevention of domestic child sex trafficking. She plans to pursue this project through either a law degree or peace studies, in order “to get the tools I need to be able to solve these problems and then implement them in the community.”

She is focusing on the importance of preventative measures, by looking at how to stop the demand of child sex trafficking on both a local and national level. She aspires to raise awareness, stating, “Anything you can do to make the community more aware of it, instead of just putting on Band-Aids, is important. People think trafficking is a global issue, but it is happening in their own backyard, just ten miles away.”

Reese already has an Associates of Arts Degree in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Having a unique story and unique skill set, Reese is striving to find the right balance between her business and fashion degrees. She hopes to someday create a business that will play a significant part in the anti-trafficking movement.

Reese has demonstrated her commitment to her mission in multiple ways. In the summer of 2018, she was involved in Freedom and Fashion, a Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to the “reidentification and reimpowerment of sex trafficking survivors through fashion.” She mentored trafficking victims in the designing of a 19 piece collection for the Freedom and Fashion Show. “I guided them and polished their designs, and then I drafted the patterns, sewed the garments and fit the models.”

Freedom and Fashion Models That Reese Mentored Summer 2018

Through this experience, Reese was “grateful to be able to use the creative side of her brain but also be very helpful to the girls. Art can be hard to relate to after trauma but we found that art can express things beyond words. The clothing held way deeper meanings than could be imagined. It was amazing to be a part of.”

She is also involved in the local community through Traffick911, an organization which works with community centers in Dallas that deal with anti-trafficking.

Reese found inspiration to work against trafficking while volunteering in the Philippines, where she first encountered the toll of human trafficking. “I saw it happening it front of me, and this is where the spark of frustration grew that I couldn’t do anything. It was heartbreaking to see and have to walk away from the situation, so I want to do good from my experience.”

The Truman Scholarship application is due January 31, and applicants will find out in February if they are selected for an interview. Reese is set to graduate from University of Dallas in December 2019.

To explore scholarship opportunities, click here.

To schedule an appointment with a career advisor, click here.

Intern Spotlight: Elisa Ron

Intern Spotlight: Elisa Ron

Every summer, University of Dallas students spread all over the world to gain experience through internships and jobs. In the summer of 2018, Elisa Ron, a senior and double major in politics and economics, had the opportunity to intern at the Liberal Democrat Headquarters in London.

Ron interned as a policy researcher in the policy unit of the Headquarters. Her tasks involved reading, researching, and summarizing academic reports and government reviews. Her major project of the summer on immigration policy entailed researching and drafting a project on race equality issues in Britain.

Elisa Ron

Ron reflected that working with Liberal Democrats, the UK’s third party, was interesting because it is a smaller operation and isn’t as prominent as the other two major parties. “The smaller office and smaller team meant there was so more responsibility. It allowed interns the chance to do things they wouldn’t normally do.” Ron also mentioned that she hadn’t expected to be taken as seriously as she was. Being an American, she didn’t know how she would be received, but she appreciated being seen as a colleague there.

Ron also reflected on what it means to become involved in the political sphere as an intern. “You aren’t there to express your opinions; you’re there to do your work. It is easy to become involved in the partisanship and the polarization, especially in politics, but you shouldn’t. You want to be known for what you contributed, not what you say.”

One of Ron’s favorite aspects of the internship was the chance to go abroad, and she spoke on the uniqueness of being an international intern. “It was really good experience, the kind of experience I wouldn’t have gotten in the United States. Working abroad is totally different ball game than studying abroad. You have to navigate a different world culture, and make an effort.” Integrating herself as an American put a different twist on the internship experience, she said, because she learned how to interact with people that she never thought she’d interact with.

Ron discovered this opportunity when researching for an international internship, and the Hansard Society helped her get placement at the Liberal Democrat Headquarters. Strengthening her application was a strong GPA, letters of recommendation, experience abroad in the UD Rome Program, work experience as a tutor, and her expressed interest in the city of London.

While interning in London, Ron also took the opportunity to study at the London School of Economics as part of her program, taking classes in British Parliamentary Politics.

Saying she would highly recommend this internship to anyone considering a political or international position, she encouraged, “Don’t let finances get in the way. I was nervous about the cost, but I made it work because in the long run, it’ll really benefit in so many ways.”

She also cautioned, “Be aware of cultural surroundings, and don’t be afraid to apply to a prestigious position. I never thought I would have this opportunity in London. You never know, so just give it a try.”

To make an appointment with a career advisor, click here.

Ask An Alum:
Should I Major in History or Business?

Ask An Alum:
Should I Major in History or Business?

Dear alumni,

I was wondering how the skills from a history major could be applied to other careers. Based on my experience with history classes, I think history develops critical reading/analyzing, critical thinking, and writing. I’ve heard these skills help especially in law, but I’m also wondering how they could be applied in business (especially management). At the moment, I’m trying to decide between majoring in history or business, and I would appreciate any advice y’all have. Thanks! John C., Junior, Business/History

Stephen L. (BA Political Philosophy), Chief Executive Officer at Dominus Commercial, Inc.

1st, UD teaches people to think regardless of your major. That is one of the most important lessons from UD in business. I was political philosophy and I own a commercial real estate brokerage company. My ability to think through complex transactions, relationships and business concerns is my strongest business quality. I would suspect the same would be true in history. My second thought would be don’t get to tied up in what direction the major will push you in. Go with what you love and are passionate about – that ultimately will put you in a business or position where you find purpose and that is the ultimate goal is finding your purpose.

John P. (BA Politics, 1987), Senior Analyst at Legislative Budget Board, State of Texas

I would major in history if I were you, just because it’s probably more interesting and fun! You are correct that majoring in history will help you develop critical thinking analytical and writing skills, and these things are in short supply. My manager has a history degree and our task is to analyze criminal justice data for the legislative budget board. So she has an undergraduate degree in history and basically run statistics for living, and she manages the team that analyzes data. If you have a graduate degree in a relevant field, your undergraduate degree in liberal arts will not hurt you in the least bit. Take the time as an undergraduate to study what is the most interesting and fun to you. In the working world you will miss those days immensely, and as I said as long as you have a relevant graduate degree it’s OK. I have an undergraduate degree in political philosophy from UD as well as a masters degree in political philosophy from UD. Eventually I got a masters degree of public affairs from UT Austin. I have been analyzing criminal justice data since 1994. The degrees in political philosophy help me learn how to write and think and analyze, and they were just incredibly interesting to me. The graduate degree got me the job. Studying political philosophy was much more interesting to me and it certainly didn’t prevent me from getting where I am now. Please contact me if you need more information.

Victoria S. (BA Psychology, 2013), Scrum Master at Southwest Airlines

Hi John, You’re absolutely correct, a history major (or any liberal arts major) will develop those critical thinking and writing skills. If you go this route, however, I would strongly recommend you have solid internships under your belt. If you know you want to go into business, consider taking business classes or getting a business minor. Work experience will be especially important when you’re looking for entry-level positions. Some employers, unfortunately, do have a bias towards certain majors (like business). However, if you have excellent work experience/internships, it really makes you stand out.

Joseph H. (BA English, 2000), Leadership Program Officer at Southern Methodist University

So, my general advice for anyone considering a major is to zero on two things: 1. Do you think the work will be worthwhile? 2. Do you feel you will be supported in doing that work? You definitely want to pick the major that will give you motivation that will work for you and that will give you the strongest individual support, particularly for life crises and for transitioning to post-graduation life. History majors do make good law students, but I know history majors in many walks of life and I don’t know of any kind of medium scale organization or larger that doesn’t need both formal historians and people who can do historical work. That cuts both ways, though, in that some of the best historians I know are people with training in business. Apart from looking at what is going to motivate you individually as a student I would add two pieces of advice: 1. Look at what potential for cross-over study either major may offer. Will history give you the space to take a business concentration? Will your business major let you take lots of courses focusing on case studies and other historically modes of understanding business and management? 2. What secondary skills and experiences will either program support you in pursuing? I was able to pick up some training in oral history work through one of my programs and every job I have ever had was interested in my experience with that sort of work. Similarly, many successful history programs across the nation have been lauded for training people in skills such as coding, for the digital humanities, or even accounting, which can be very useful for a lot of archival work as well as business. Business majors are often more explicit about what sub-skills they can help you develop, but that’s often because a generic business degree can be something of a trap. When my sister was at UD she faced a similar choice (between history and economics) and she chose economics because the advisor in history seemed to imply that she was only willing to support teachers who were going to be teachers or lawyers where the economics faculty seemed to be willing to support her in pursuing a variety of internships or even graduate options. That ties back to my first point about support, but if it’s still true at UD I would at least make certain that you have a strong advisor for a business concentration to go along with History so that you don’t feel trapped in either option.

Robert Z. (BA History, 1994), Associate Professor of History at Le Moyne College

Dear John, I graduated from UD with a BA in history, went on for a PhD, and now teach history at a Catholic liberal arts college. My own students and advisees ask me this question all the time. The skills you learn as a history major that you mentioned in your question (critical reading/analyzing, critical thinking, and writing), in addition to research and good oral skills, are all applicable in any field you would choose to pursue. Having spoken with many people in the business world, these are the skills they seek in their employees (unless you are looking to go into a technical field like accounting). They constantly repeat that they can and will teach their employees about the business, but they cannot teach them how to read, analyze data, write, and communicate effectively. I may be a bit biased, but a history degree paired with good foreign language skills and a few business classes (if I remember correctly, the UD history major allows for some free electives) would make you a superb candidate for a career in business. I would also strongly encourage you to seek out an internship or two. My history students here in NY who have gone onto successful business careers all benefitted from internship experiences. Good luck!

Todd S. (MBA Organizational Development 2012), Self-employed Talent Development Consultant

Hi John, My first suggestion is to follow your passion. You will do best with your classes and grades if you study something you really care about. Good grades will help you as you look for a job and talk with recruiters. Don’t limit yourself by listing your major area of study, but include your extracurricular activities, hobbies, volunteerism, etc. If you really want to get into business/management, look for internships, find a mentor that has a job you admire in a company or industry you are interested in. Also, join any professional organizations that align with what you are looking to do. Have a positive attitude and network! Have a positive online presence (LinkedIn, Facebook, Degreed, etc) and connect with your parents’ friends, professors, etc. Good luck and happy holidays! Todd

Bethany L. (BA Sculpture, 2003), Self-employed visual artist

John, I was a sculpture major and am currently a studio artist, so my advice may mean very little given your particular situation. My advice to you would be to try to get a clearer understanding of what it is specifically that you would like to do. “Business management” covers a lot of territory. There are lots and lots of different kinds of business managers, and they need lots of different kinds of skills. There may or may not be any overlap. For instance, for myself, it took a long time for me to get from “I want to make things.” to “I want to run my own fine and decorative art stone carving studio.” I did a lot of running around doing random stuff while I was in the “I want to make stuff” phase. Now, I have a pretty clear idea of what skills I need to acquire. All the best, Bethany

Killian B. (BA History, 2015), Independent Consultant

John, As a history alumnus of UD, here is my recommendation: Major in History, but make sure to take the basic 101 marketing, management, and sales classes the Business department offers. As a junior, you may have already taken these classes…great! Additionally, use much of your spring semester to find a worthwhile and impressive summer internship in an area of business that intrigues you…maybe even something in Dallas that you could continue doing Senior year. If you need help finding one, feel free to contact me at killian.beeler@gmail.com or connect at linkedin.com/in/killianbeeler. Sabre, Fidelity, and Southwest Airlines are all local DFW companies that will often invest in UDers. Lastly, if you’ve already begun taking business classes, also consider combining your undergrad history degree with UD’s MBA or MS (Business Analytics, Cyber security, etc.) through the 4+1 program (https://udallas.edu/constantin/4_plus_1/index.php). Here’s my rationale: The undergrad business degree from UD is just fine, but doesn’t particularly stand out among the thousands of undergrad business programs across the nation. The history degree from UD however is truly special and unique and shouldn’t be discarded in favor of a generic business degree that you could get for free or nearly free online through youtube, Khan academy, and Udemy.com. Additionally, having a History degree with solid business internship experience (while possibly pursuing a business masters) will make your resume stand out against the thousands of recent business graduates. By just taking the basic the mgmt, marketing, and sales classes, you’ll have the lingo and concepts to hold your own in your first job. The History degree will give you the critical thinking skills, imagination, and emotional intelligence to stand out and thrive far into the future. Finally, I think the most important skill the History major gives you is through the thesis project process. That process will indirectly give you great intuitive project management and qualitative/quantitative data analysis skills. If you want to further harness those skills, consider taking self-paced Project Management Institute (PMI) Best Practices or Business/Data Analytics classes on udemy for $10 each. Best of luck. Killian Beeler, MBA Class of 2015

Justin L. (BA History, 2006), Chief Dispatcher at Southwest Airlines ‎

Hi John, A history degree can be a fantastic baseline for a career in business, especially if you want to progress into leadership. I was a history major in the Class of 2006, and now I’m a Chief Dispatcher at Southwest Airlines. My advice: pick the major you enjoy the most, unless you need a degree in a certain business field to “check the box” for a specific job or career field you want to break into. In general the further you are in your career, the less a hiring manager looks at your degree. Instead of just generalities, here’s how my career has unfolded so far in light of your questions. Please holler back if you have any questions. There’s a general rule of thumb that applies across all career fields. Whether your first job is an internship or full-time job, you have to build career capital: the experience and know-how that goes on your resume and adds to your skill set. Your degree can open the door, but it’s not career capital until you start doing things that people will pay you to do. Your internships or college jobs may have a bigger impact than your degree. I was an RA for two years, managed the campus pool, and worked in Student Life. That meant I handled staffing, budgets, bids, and contracts, among other things. Working my way through college also meant I picked an “easier” major. At your first job you’ll learn the basics of the industry and the particulars of that company or industry niche. What software do we use? How many people does it take to accomplish this task? Learn what to do and why it’s done. I started a management trainee program with a trucking company the week after graduation. That taught me payroll, profit and loss, operations, customer service, operational communication, safety, and a few other general business skills within the first four weeks. I picked it up because I had to read so much as a history major; it was just easy. I managed a fleet of trucks, drivers, and trailers, and acquired scheduling and logistics skills at that first job. If you’re curious and ask questions like a history major, you’ll be able to pick up a significant amount of business education through on the job training. There was plenty of reading, critical thinking, and discussion with colleagues. After that, I used those newly acquired skills–my career capital–to land a job scheduling pilots at Southwest. Some jobs might require a specific degree, so if you want to go into something more technical you might need specialized coursework or degrees (like a CPA, for example). After a few years I added a professional certification: FAA Aircraft Dispatcher. Plenty of people add licenses or certifications a few years out of school. That moved me into our dispatch office, where we plan each flight’s route, required fuel, cargo, and passenger weight. The job is like being a real-time lawyer for the airline and flight crews. There are volumes of manuals, FAA regulations, and directions from air traffic control that we have to sort through, analyze, and communicate to flight crews to legally operate a flight. A history major can analyze and communicate this stuff very well. Eventually I took a position in dispatch management, and I help oversee the safe and efficient completion of our daily flight schedule. We have a few hundred people in our department and a very large annual budget. It’s large enough that managers need general business skills but not a degree, because there’s a dedicated payroll team, a dedicated financial staff, and a dedicated team of business consultants. A colleague who shares my position has an MBA. When we talk about his business background he shrugs and calls it something that’s nice to have but not required. The critical thinking and analysis that you practice in history class helps managers stay ahead of problems. We’re constantly faced with new puzzles to solve that rarely have clearly defined boundaries: read something, determine the impact, and communicate that to other groups. Our group has to be proficient on jet operations, stay up-to-date with employment regulations, work with our legal team on a host of issues, give tours to high ranking government officials, and provide written communication that can be seen by thousands of people. That’s a very wide range of skills; it sounds like a night of studying as a history major. They analyze, point out conflict, communicate, self-educate, and tell a story about the business. Hopefully that helps a little bit, John. If you have more questions or you ever want to meet up for lunch or coffee, it’s on me. My number is (contact OPCD) and my e-mail is justin.lebon@gmail.com . Best of luck to you! Justin

Mathew C. (BA English, 1992), Structures Technician at SpaceX

Military intelligence or intelligence analysis are very viable career options. In fact, it’s the career path I followed as an English major. As long as there is government, there is a need for people with critical thinking and data analysis skills – as most government officials seem to lack those skills (that’s why they have personal staffs and think tanks in their employ). If you want to learn business, start a business. If you want to understand history, make history.