Marianna Simionedes '08
At Whitman, I focused my studies on gender in early modern Europe and worked in two northwest archives for summer jobs. I was unsure of my next step after graduation, but then I remembered how much I enjoyed working in the archives. I went to graduate school and earned a master’s degree in information studies. That’s the field which encompasses libraries and archives, as well as more technical subjects like user experience, digital libraries, and competitive intelligence. I specialized in archives and preservation, and took extra coursework on electronic records. Now, I work for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, where I provide records management training and consulting to local governments and state agencies. My job involves a lot of research, analysis, writing, and communication. Those are all skills that I learned and refined as a history major at Whitman—a point I was sure to mention in my interview. With my history background, I bring a long-range perspective to records management, which is just as important as the legal or financial perspective. Although this is not the career I expected as I began my history major (or even my master’s program), I never forget that documentation is the foundation of history, and that includes government records. By helping Texas governments and agencies manage their paper and digital records, I’m helping Texans preserve their history. Please feel free to connect with me on Twitter (@sharkivist) or LinkedIn if you’re interested in library or information science!