Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
Interns jumping in front of AZ state capital.

Q & A with Samuel Rosenberg 2020

Samuel Rosenberg pursued a major in History and a minor in Spanish and Environmental Sustainability.

An image of Sam Rosenberg

What motivated you to enroll at NAU?

NAU’s reputation for strong environmental programs helped to draw me to it initially, and the location and its balance of size and focus on student individuality made it my first choice.

Why and how did you select your final major and minor at NAU?

I decided on my major and minors after a semester and a half at the university.

Upon enrolling, I had little idea of what area I wanted to go into, and so took courses from a variety of fields to try to learn my own interests. I decided to pursue the path of the courses that I most enjoyed, declaring a dual major in History and Environmental and Sustainability Studies with an emphasis in Global Sustainability and a minor in Spanish after a workshop in the Union and a series of meetings with my counselors. I enjoyed the courses for all three fields immensely, but eventually dropped my environmental major to a minor when I added an internship that complicated the timing around obtaining the necessary credits for the second major.

In what ways did your NAU coursework prepare you for your career?

My minor in Spanish has, of course, better facilitated communication with friends and coworkers, and the lessons regarding Latin roots and sentence structure have also helped me to become a very effective proofreader. Perhaps most notably, my major in History has directly helped to prepare me for the jobs I have had since graduation because of the skills that I learned in effective written and verbal communications like close reading, clear writing, efficient research, and the ability to edit objective research documents. All of these skills have made me valuable to my employers, and the objectivity and analytic skills I obtained are applicable to a wide range of careers. Many job postings that I am interested in request a degree in communication, political science, “or a related field.” I have found that History is nearly always considered to be one of those related fields!

Did you participate in any experiential learning opportunities, like a study abroad or an internship? If so, how did these contribute to your overall NAU experience?

During my sophomore year, I applied to and participated in the Arizona Legislative Internship Program. I found it to be among the most valuable experiences in my educational career. I remained largely undecided as to what I wished to do after graduation until that internship, during which I learned a great deal about the Arizona governmental system and gained a great fondness for it. The internship gave me many professional connections and experience, which, combined with this new interest and direction, facilitated entry into my current career and long-term plans.

What part of your NAU experience do you value most highly today, and what could NAU have done better to prepare you for the future?

As I mentioned before, the training I received in effective reading, writing, researching, and objectively editing research documents has been invaluable in my specific career field. Additionally, my internship with the state legislature truly helped to propel me into my current career, in which I am very happy.

I think that, while efforts were undoubtedly made, an increased emphasis in helping students to realize what they could do with their degree after graduation would have been helpful. As a student in a program like History that is not often seen as useful in the broader market, finding a career was a source of some anxiety for me.

On a more personal note, I feel that the university could have done more to advertise the Arizona Legislative Internship Program to a broader variety of students, as I personally only knew of it from skimming the newsletter one day and finding a single paragraph on the subject. I found the internship to be extremely helpful in my academic and professional careers and would love to see more students from my alma mater aware of and applying for it, as NAU tends to have the fewest applicants of any of the Arizona universities.