Eugene Kim '11
Position: Analyst for Natural Resources Investment Firm
Field: Finance & Consulting
Thesis Title: “Beyond Betrayal: The Warsaw Uprising and the Crisis in Inter-Allied Relations, August-October 1944”
After graduation, I took my History degree to New York, where I now work as an analyst in a privately held investment firm focused on the natural resources sector. My choice of concentration paid off during my job interview, when I spent more time discussing the reasons for Allied victory in the First and Second World Wars than the formula for the weighted average cost of capital. Fortunately for me, my interviewer (and current boss) is a history buff and lifelong learner who didn’t mind. While I don’t spend a great deal of time writing about the intricacies of Polish-Soviet relations during the Second World War (my passion during my time at Harvard), I do use the skills that I learned as a History concentrator on an almost-daily basis at the office. From the first day of sophomore tutorial to the end of senior thesis seminar, my professors and teaching fellows made a consistent effort to teach students how to read deeply, think carefully, and write effectively. I believe that these are valuable, transferable skills that will help future History concentrators in virtually every profession.
Looking back, one of the things that I loved most about the History department was the atmosphere of intellectual curiosity and academic discipline that it fostered amongst its students. Throughout my time at Harvard, I was repeatedly amazed by both the depth and breadth of the ideas and arguments that my professors, teaching fellows, and classmates would articulate in the classroom and elsewhere on campus. I also appreciated the department’s focus on small group discussion, which helped create a sense of camaraderie and facilitate meaningful discussions.
I’d strongly encourage any student who is considering concentrating in History to do so – it’s definitely a value-added proposition. After all, I’m still articulating theses and collecting primary and secondary sources – it’s just that I’m much more likely to put it all together in a twenty tab Excel spreadsheet than a twenty page final paper.