Alumnus/Alumna profile

Ona Bantjes-Rafols

Bachelor of Arts 20
Honours History: Seminar Option

Ona Bantjes-Rafols was encouraged to reach beyond the classroom and take part in the academic field of History

The academic field of History may focus on the past, but it’s as dynamic and ever-changing as the sciences. That’s what Ona Bantjes-Rafols learned, thanks to encouragement from her professors to engage with the field outside of the classroom.

I felt reassured that I was on the right path through the support and resources offered by the History department

What pushed you to pursue your studies in History at Concordia?

I had only done one History course in the past, but I enjoyed it so much that I decided to pursue my studies in the program. I did not regret my choice. I chose Concordia because it offers so many different interdisciplinary approaches.

How did studying in this program guide your career path?

A lot of professors encouraged us to do activities outside of the classroom to get an idea of the field. My professors encouraged me to submit to academic journals, go to conferences and other extra activities that would help me in the development of my career. I felt reassured that I was on the right path through the support and resources offered by the History department.

What did you enjoy most about the program?

One of the benefits of the program is that there are different concentration options students can choose from based on their strengths and interests. Within my Honours seminar concentration, I really enjoyed my courses because we got the chance to work in smaller groups and be exposed to ideas on a wide variety of topics. Some of these classes included graduate students, which really made for interesting classroom discussion.

What are some tips you wish you had heard going into your first year as a History student?

I would encourage first-year students to set personal deadlines before due dates, and to go see the professors a week or two before submitting a paper. Another piece of advice would be to take advantage of academic activities that happen outside of the classroom, in terms of academic journals, calls for submissions and attending conferences. Concordia offers so many opportunities that are just up for grabs, so why not give it a shot?

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