Alumni

November 14, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Panel Talks About Life as an Archaeologist Post-Graduation

By Jake Ballas, ‘18

October was OHIO Archaeology month with a month full of events to celebrate 30 Years of Digging up the Past with the OHIO Archaeology Field School.

As an undergrad anthropology major, the uncertainty of future career paths worry me from time to time.

I’m a decent student and have done research on possible future jobs. I have even taken the Ohio Archaeology Field School offered here at Ohio University.

It might be just because there has never been anyone relatable to put my mind to rest about the looming fear of not getting a job coming out of college.

I know I am not alone, as an anthropology major or as a college student.

Paul Patton, Tatiana Fox, Josh McConaughy, Staci Spertzel-Black, Basia Howard, Adam Wellspring in the 1804 Lounge

Paul Patton, Tatiana Fox, Josh McConaughy, Staci Spertzel-Black, Basia Howard, Adam Wellspring

The Archaeology Alumni Panel had not one, but five admirable alumni at the panel discussion to tell their stories of life after graduating from Ohio University: Josh McConaughy ’06, Associate Director, The Archaeology Conservancy; Basia Howard ’11, Archaeologist, USDA Rural Development; Staci Spertzel Black ’04, ’05M, Archaeologist, Heberling and Associates; and Tatiana Fox ’14, Field Technician, Tetra Tech. The group was joined at the last minute by Adam Wellspring ‘06, Archaeologist, AECOM.

Dr. Paul Patton started off the event followed by the panelists introducing themselves, and shared their journeys since graduating. There was a certain chemistry among the panel that made everyone in the audience feel relaxed and causal.

“I think that’s what really calmed our worries a bit,” said fellow Anthropology major Jason Defourny ’18 a few days after the event.

“We heard from people who have gone through what we are going through right now. The line that really stuck out to me was you either grow or get passed.

“In this field it’s a constant learning experience.

“You can’t just think you’ve made it and settle because then you will get passed by someone else who’s eager to learn.

“This panel discussion was so informative that now I can sleep a little better at night knowing that there’s light at the end of this tunnel.”

Brenna Tippie ’20, Jason Defourny ‘18, Adam Wellspring ‘06, and Jamie Davis ‘02 in the 1804 Lounge

Brenna Tippie ’20, Jason Defourny ‘18, Adam Wellspring ‘06, and Jamie Davis ‘02

The best advice I heard was from Fox when she said, “be adaptable and be observant.”

I took that advice as anything can happen in this field. Nothing is guaranteed or set in stone.

A company might offer you your first job and you stay with that company for 10 years or you may jump from job to job between companies for 5 years.

As Howard said, “know your personal value and worth.”

Elliot Abrams, Professor Emeritus, added, “Students quickly learn that most jobs in archaeology are in the private sector, and thus opportunities in archaeology are directly linked to the broader economy.”

Jake Ballas, Jason Defourny, Tatiana Fox, Josh McConaughy, Adam Wellspring, Jamie Davis, Paul Patton, Brenna Tippie, Staci Spertzel-Black, Basia Howard, Elliot Abrams in the 1804 Lounge

Jake Ballas, Jason Defourny, Tatiana Fox, Josh McConaughy, Adam Wellspring, Jamie Davis, Paul Patton, Brenna Tippie, Staci Spertzel-Black, Basia Howard, Elliot Abrams

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*