Name: Kevin Dahaghi
Major(s): Sociology; Journalism & Media Studies
Minor: Social Justice
Why did you choose Sociology as your major?
I began as a journalism major to work towards becoming a newspaper journalist. In my first semester, I took a course on mass communication and sociology that encouraged me take more sociology courses.
What did you like most about it?
The broad scope of things that sociologists study. My interests were always scattered and being a sociology major allowed me to study a range of phenomena, rfrom the criminal justice system to the ongoing fiscal crises in the United States. The field is very interdisciplinary and welcoming to a variety of research methods.
What is your current position, what do you, and what do you enjoy most about it?
I am currently a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Sociology (and an affiliate with the Population Research Center). I most enjoy the freedom to study research questions that pertain to my interests. I also enjoy the flexibility with my schedule and the places from which I can work. On days where I want to avoid the office setting, I can go study at a public library or local coffee shop.
What was your first job after Rutgers and how did you get it?
Technically, my first “job” was a 10-month appointment as an English Teaching Assistant through the U.S. Fulbright Student Programs. I applied in the beginning of my senior year. In that position, I primarily assisted with English language instruction at a university in Hong Kong. But, I was also able to represent the U.S. Department of State at various functions to discuss American culture and higher education opportunities abroad.
How did you move from that first job to your current position?
I applied for Ph.D. programs while abroad. I chose UT-Austin based on the resources and opportunities I would have available.
Looking back, what classes or experiences at Rutgers would you point to as contributing to your successes?
The most important course I took was a seminar on social policy, as part of the Lloyd C. Gardner Fellowship program. I was surrounded by a small group of the brightest students at Rutgers, who represented a diverse range of academic majors and personalities. From my peers, I learned how think critically and how to ask better questions. The most important experience for me was being part of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. The program guided me towards a career in academia and introduced me to one of the most important mentors I’ve ever had (Dr. Lauren Krivo). The McNair program prepared me for rigor of graduate school.
What advice do you have for our current Arts and Sciences students?
Engage with programs and opportunities that will build your transferable skills. I believe that you can major (or minor) in any field and still develop your skillset to work in other fields. Many sociology majors find success in jobs related to medicine, law, geography, and business. In fact, many graduate and professional school programs (e.g. medical school) have become more interested in sociology students.