Graduating Senior Lori Martello’s Advice to History Students

Lori is a current senior history major, graduating this December. She’s in training for her new job, and will start full time as an archivist at the Harley Davidson Museum after she graduates in December. She was recently interviewed about her new position and her experiences at UWM.


Congratulations on your job offer! Can you tell us what the job is, and how you learned about the position?
I recently was offered an archivist position at The Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. I am still in training, but this job has already opened my eyes to how vast and unique the history of motorcycles is. I learned about this position on LinkedIn, but I got interested in the history and world-wide influence of Harley Davidson when I was in Italy.

What was it like searching for a job as a History major? What was the application process like, and what do you think helped you get the job?
The first thing I noticed when searching for a job was that there are so many employers that are looking for someone with a background in History/Historical Research. When contacted by potential employers, many asked to see a writing sample or research presentation that I had previously done. I believe this was incredibly important because employers got to read and discuss my work on topics I am very passionate about. It also helped that they were topics I had extensive knowledge in, because they were the focus of my research while at UWM.

What do you think you have learned as a History major? Did you have a favorite class or professor in the History Department during your time at UWM?
Professors Winson Chu and Marcus Filippello are my favorite professors in the History Department and at UWM. They have truly taught me to challenge accepted answers and that being passionate about what you love and enjoy can take you to places previously unknown and unimaginable. Both these professors have inspired me: their genuine caring and love of their fields of history make me excited to continue pursuing my passion for history. I thank these two professors for always encouraging and guiding me, inspiring me to be the woman and historian I have become.

You participated in both Phi Alpha Theta and the Office of Undergraduate Research’s SURF program. What were those experiences like? Would you recommend those programs to other students?
I would recommend that any history student engage in a SURF Research project and get involved with Phi Alpha Theta. Doing research with SURF has opened so many doors for me, encouraging me to branch out and discover different practices that connect to History. PAT has taught me how rewarding diligence and hard work can be. PAT has also introduced me to wonderful fellow History students that share similar passions.

Looking back, is there any other advice you would give to other history majors at UWM?
My advice for other history majors is to be enthusiastic and dedicated to your studies as it results in amazing rewards, not only in the pride you will take in yourself, but more broadly here at UWM. Great work at UWM does not go unnoticed. And also, get to know your professors! They like to engage with their students. Enjoy everything that UWM and the History Department has to offer, and I hope other history students have as much fun as I have these last three and a half years. I will always take pride in calling myself a Panther.