The Hindsight of a History Degree in Helping Students


By Andrea O'Neill '06 and Emily Allen '26

 The adaptability and the transferrable skills one gains with a Bloom degree are invaluable – just ask Matt Albertson '12.

Albertson's journey from college to a career serves as an inspiration for students navigating their own educational and professional paths. Through his involvement in clubs and activities at Bloomsburg, Matt expanded his network, found his life partner, and navigated an unexpected career turn to find success in sales. 

Albertson at the Great Wall of China during a study abroad trip in 2012
Albertson at the Great Wall of China during a study abroad trip in 2012.

After transferring to Bloomsburg, Albertson immersed himself in history and political science, becoming involved in the History Club and Phi Alpha Theta, which provided him opportunities to connect with like-minded peers. These activities expanded his network, through which he met his now wife, Jess Rothman '12, and discovered an entire industry of opportunity.

The [American Historical Association] AHA estimates 80-82 percent of history bachelor holders go into something other than history," stated Albertson.

After graduation, Albertson pursued a graduate degree in public history at Villanova University and explored more ways in which his degree and skills could translate into the business world. What he found propelled him into the supply chain, and later sales, industries and prompted him to share his narrative with other history and language students at Bloomsburg.

 "One of the things I thought my experience lacked was history majors coming back and talking to us about their jobs outside of their major," recalled Albertson. "Students need to know they'll be fine if they have to pivot. Student loans and bills come due; I did it, and so can they."

Albertson pursued a career path in public history as an intern and volunteer while a project manager for an electrical distributor. It was through the project management position he discovered parallels with skills he had honed as a historian such as effective communication, collaboration, and problem-solving. COVID-19 brought even more unexpected changes, and a layoff led him to find his current success as a lighting supply salesperson for nationwide construction projects.

"History requires you to develop a mastery of the written and spoken word," stated Albertson. "I use those skills every day in emails and conversations with customers, and they are a real skill that translates into any line of work." 

Albertson's commitment to current Bloom students is evident through his guest speakerships at events such as the College of Liberal Arts (COLA) Symposium and Career Intensive Boot Camp (CIBC), annual History Club banquet, and the Husky Student Leadership Summit. Albertson aims to inspire current students through these engagements by sharing his experiences and offering guidance on post-college career transitions. Recognizing the value of alumni presentations, he encourages fellow alumni to be authentic and share their insights. By doing so, they can contribute valuable perspectives and help students navigate their climb as confident professionals. 

If you would like to volunteer to help fellow Huskies move from college student to confident professional, Let us know!