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David Jacobstein

Bio photo of David Jacobstein

Senior Program Manager @ Pact

Build the skills of civic organizations overseas to contribute to better development.

How I Got Here

Undergraduate Degree(s): History
Graduate degree(s): Master's degree in International Relations.
Favorite class(es): Modern Mythologies
Changing majors:

Originally undecided, at the time I was considering Anthropology as a major.

Moving from college to career:

My degree was somewhat important, because it gave me a sense of the world that helped me get interested in the area, but I had no real background in what I started doing (working at the ABA on legal reform). The most important thing about my undergraduate experience was learning to think critically and analyze what I read.

Career influences:

A class on the Balkans (while the Yugoslav war was going on) helped me to consider work that benefitted the wider world. I thought it would be a short stint, but I have stuck with it for a longer career. A great first boss also showed me that with common sense and dedication, I could make a real contribution.

The Ups and Downs


Pros: Travel to Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, El Salvador, Tajikistan, and Moldova in the last few months; meeting cool people; feeling that my work makes a difference, doesn't just pass time.

Cons: Not many options for a longer career in the field; it's a non-profit area, so salaries are moderate.



I wish I had known how much professors are happy to chat with students; when I did that in graduate school, I learned a lot and built some good relationships.

Interested in this Career?


Your major does not always determine your career path. Many graduates pursue careers outside their field, depending on their interests and experiences.


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Contact a Texas Career Engagement career counselor today to find out how you can turn your major into a career.