On September 27, 2018 the History department hosted its annual Alumni Career Night. This year the department welcomed Melissa Hatfield, Brian Levitsky, Matthew M. Thomas, and Jackson Turner back to campus to talk to current History students about their careers and how their History degree helped them acquire their various occupations as well as how it has shaped their professional journey. All four History at Illinois alumni are currently employed at a wide range of occupations.
Melissa Hatfield, who now lives in Chicago, graduated with High Distinction honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign with a Bachelor’s Degree in History. Melissa talked to the group about her current position as Partner in the Financial Services and Private Equity branch of DHR international, where she serves as an executive search leader helping companies address talent and hiring challenges. Prior to joining DHR International, Melissa worked for quite a few years at JP Morgan, ending her time there as Head of Recruiting for JP Morgan's Commercial Bank leading a team of executive recruiters focused on all facets of talent acquisition.
Brian Levitsky talked about his career as a prosecutor working at the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in Chicago. After graduating in 2011 with a major in History and minor in Political Science, he went to law school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and began working for the State's Attorney's Office in 2014. Since then, he has been assigned to the Child Protection and Juvenile Justice divisions and is currently assigned to the Criminal Appeals division.
Matthew M. Thomas is a Senior Design Partner with Design Group International, a process consulting company built on helping organizations and their leaders transform. Mr. Thomas is certified as an Executive Process Consultant, having been in practice for over eight years. Mr. Thomas holds an M.Div. from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Champaign-Urbana with their three children.
Born and raised in the Western Suburbs of Chicago. Jackson Turner spent most childhood summers in either Syracuse NY, or Washington, DC visiting family. Has always had a deep passion for History but didn't start studying it officially until coming to UIUC in 2015. Initially started as a creative writing major at a community college, quickly switched to nursing, and almost immediately switched to studying architecture. After realizing architecture requires a good understanding of math, a decision was made to study something that was near and dear to the heart, history.
The History department thanks all four of our alumni speakers for their time at our Career Night and is truly grateful for the knowledge at support that they provided for our undergraduate students.