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FROM STUDY TO SKILLS

All academic programs offered at the UM help students develop valuable transferable skills. In our increasingly global world, the interdisciplinary program offered by the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) makes it an ideal liberal arts concentration. As a DAAS concentrator, you will be analyzing historical and contemporary cultures, concerns, perspectives, and accomplishments of peoples of African descent, particularly those in Africa, the Americas, and the Caribbean. Thus, DAAS is a multi-disciplinary, interdepartmental program that will allow you to integrate historical, sociological, cultural, psychological, economic, and political concepts and perspectives. You will be encouraged to bring a critical approach to your studies, and, whenever possible, current issues will be linked with classroom work. This interdisciplinary approach will help you develop a wide range of skills.

Related fields include History, Literature, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, Communication Studies, Cultural Studies, Art History, Linguistics, Anthropology, Latino and Caribbean Studies, Middle Eastern and North African Studies, and Museum Studies.

 

SKILLS AND ABILITIES

Project Development Skills

Assessing needs and interests
Generating ideas
Identifying resources
Developing sound research designs 
Evaluating results
Translating theory into action
Working with community groups

Research / Analytical Skills

Thinking and reading critically
Identifying research topics
Gathering information
Examining evidence
Comparing/contrasting ideas and concepts
Solving problems
Assessing alternative modes of analysis

Interpersonal / Cross-Cultural Skills

Working with competing ideas
Developing appreciation for racial, class, and gender differences 
Understanding society through culture
Incorporating interdisciplinary methods
Examining the relationships among historical, economic, political, and cultural forces
Understanding the practical significance of academic experiences

Communication Skills

Writing clearly
Expressing ideas through several media (e.g. film or music)
Listening to others
Challenging conventional ideas
Conveying ideas systematically

 

BUILDING YOUR SKILLS OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

Employers seek out individuals who can demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills, initiative, and a strong work ethic. Student organizations and campus employment offer valuable opportunities to add to the skills you are developing in your classes. Most concentrations sponsor specific student groups like an undergraduate organization or an honor society. Other options include study abroad, off-campus employment or volunteering in the community. Finally, a summer internship may be the best way of all to test out a career field and develop marketable skills.

 

FROM SKILLS TO CAREER

DAAS concentrators develop both general and technical skills applicable to a wide range of careers. For example, examining evidence is a skill that professors, lawyers, health workers, or personnel directors use on a daily basis.

Many concentrators go on to graduate or professional school. The list below is a sample of careers undertaken by DAAS graduates.

Project Development Skills

Urban planner  open=For more career information, see O*Net at 
http://online.onetcenter.org/

 

CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS

DAAS offers either a concentration or a minor in Afroamerican and African Studies; students may also pursue Honors. Both concentrators and minors are required to take two core courses: AAS 111, “Intro to Africa and Its Diaspora” and AAS 495, “Senior Seminar.” Honors Concentrators fulfill the same requirements and complete a 40-60 page senior thesis.

By taking a range of courses at the 200, 300, and 400 levels, students gain a broad understanding of the African Diaspora—the varied cultures of African-descended people around the globe—while at the same time developing specialized knowledge about one of three major geographic areas: Africa, the Americas, or the Caribbean. For more information, contact daasadvising@umich.edu or consult the DAAS website (URL below).

Department for Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS)
4700 Haven Hall
734-764-0332
www.lsa.umich.edu/daas

Newnan Advising Center
1255 Angell Hall
734-764-0332
www.lsa.umich.edu/advising

 

NEXT STEPS / RESOURCES

To identify internships or job opportunities, visit Career Center Connector: www.careercenter.umich.edu/article/career-center-connector

To begin connecting to professionals in fields that interest you, create your own LinkedIn account: 
www.careercenter.umich.edu/article/getting-started-linkedin

On campus jobs (work-study and non work-study jobs) are listed at: 
https://studentemployment.umich.edu/JobX_Home.aspx

The Maize Pages list hundreds of organizations for students to get involved in:
http://studentorgs.umich.edu/maize

The Career Center
3200 Student Activities Building
734-764-7460
www.careercenter.umich.edu
www.facebook.com/careercenter.umich
http://twitter.com/careercenter

The Career Guide series was developed by the University of Michigan Career Center, Division of Student Affairs, in cooperation with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. ©2011 Regents of the University of Michigan