Rowan University Anthropology Majors Share Their Professional Goals

A close up of Mexican communication on a stone from an ancient civilization.

Anthropology is the scientific and humanistic approach understanding human origins, and biological and cultural diversity. Potential career paths can include becoming an anthropologist, archeologist, forensic science technician, curator, medical scientist, museum technician and conservator or geographer.

Meet anthropology majors Nicole Abbott, Goldie Burnett & Nicholas Torres as they share their professional goals in their field.

A small group of students work together outside, looking through camera gear.

What internships, clubs, networking, etc. are you involved in and how do they support your goals?

“I am currently in an internship with the Museum of Anthropology at Rowan University (MARU). Here I work with human remains as well as animal remains to ethically conserve them. This internship also gives me the opportunity to travel to Museo Arqueológico de La Serena in Chile. I worked at the Museo this past June conserving human and animal remains as old as 3000 BCE. Here, I also helped train the Chilean police force in forensic investigation/identification. This internship has not only given me a wonderful experience in a real anthropological position, giving me a taste of what the professional world holds, but it also allowed me to network with professionals in my field. Some of the connections I made during this internship have already contacted me about doing research together as I get my master’s degree. I very much look forward to taking hold of these new opportunities, and I am very grateful for the experiences that this internship has given me as I now have a jump start in my professional career.” – Nicole Abbott, junior from West Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County)

“This past summer I completed an internship at The Museum of American History in Deptford, NJ, which has allowed me to understand the inner workings of how institutions present history to the public and the decision making process behind it. This experience has formed my outlook toward some larger organizations, while also making my values more pertinent when thinking of my future professional goals; the presentation of history should encompass the cultural significance of an individual’s actions, while stressing how individual agency can affect local and larger communities.” – Goldie Burnett, senior from Valrico, Florida

Nicole stands next to a display at the Museum of Anthropology at Rowan University.
Nicole Abbott

Could you describe your short-term professional goals?

“I plan on going to graduate school after I graduate with my bachelor’s degree in two years. I plan on getting my Ph.D. ” – Nicole Abbott, junior from West Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County)

I hope to achieve a master’s degree in history or higher education, which will help me on my way to working at an accredited university or within local historical institutions.” – Goldie Burnett, senior from Valrico, Florida

“Short-term, I want to focus on school while applying for internships in my field so I am able to gain a better understanding of the field for when I graduate.” – Nicholas Torres, junior from Blackwood, NJ (Camden County)

A small class of anthropology majors examines a human skeleton on a table.

What is your long-term professional dream goal?

My professional dream goal is to join the anthropology department of the FBI.” – Nicole Abbott, junior from West Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County)

“It’s my ultimate dream to create a program that combines artistic expression and cultural/historical interests in a way that allows students of all ages to be enthusiastically involved in redefining history. Hopefully, I will be able to do this through a higher position at a university, museum, or library in the future.” – Goldie Burnett, senior from Valrico, Florida

Long-term I want to gain as much field experience as possible, while continuing on with my education. My long term goal is to obtain a Ph.D. ( I want to focus on ancient civilizations) and become a professor at a university.” – Nicholas Torres, junior from Blackwood, NJ (Camden County)

Nicholas walks through the aisles of books at the library.
Nicholas Torres

What Rowan professors or Rowan classes have been most helpful and enlightening to you, and how?

“Two professors who have really stood out in my career at Rowan have been Dr. Maria Rosado and Professor Anna Getler. These two amazing women are not only extremely knowledgeable in their fields of study but also have a talent for engagingly teaching their students, making their lessons memorable. If it were not for Dr. Rosado and Professor Getler, I wouldn’t have learned of the internship that allowed me to travel to Chile, and I wouldn’t be half as skilled in my field as I am now. In fact, Dr. Rosado was the person who introduced me to anthropology, my now passion. My life would look very different if I hadn’t met these two amazing professors. I am very thankful to have such wonderful mentors in my life.” – Nicole Abbott, junior from West Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County)

“The most influential course I’ve taken at Rowan so far has been Comparitive Cultures, specifically taught by Dr. James Hundley. This class had a certain artistry to the way material was laid out, creating an interdisciplinary view of what could be considered ordinary versus non. I truly recommend it to every anthropology major, as it will combine basic facets of anthropology with topics like the environment, psychology, etc.” – Goldie Burnett, senior from Valrico, Florida

Dr. Seran Schug I would say has been the most enlightening individual that I have had during my time here at Rowan. I have taken classes with Dr. Schug two times for two separate courses. Each time lectures and information were given to us always had me on the edge of my seat eager to learn more.” – Nicholas Torres, junior from Blackwood, NJ (Camden County)

A student uses gloved hands to sift through dirt at a work site.

How will this degree support your dreams and goals?

“My goal is to join the anthropology department of the FBI. Ultimately, my degree in anthropology with a concentration in forensics will prepare me for the work that I will face in such a position.” – Nicole Abbott, junior from West Deptford, NJ (Gloucester County)

“A degree in anthropology will undoubtedly help me in the world of higher education and history, as it is the study of human culture and encapsulates all of pre-written life to the modern day with a focus on why certain actions are taken/why certain views take hold in society. In the world of higher education, my degree will give me an in-depth understanding of cultural relevance, which can come in handy when working intimately with students/the public. As for the historical sphere of academia, my degree allows me to see patterns between behavior, society, and an environment that those in other disciplines may not make, allowing for connections to be made about different periods of history.” – Goldie Burnett, senior from Valrico, Florida

“This degree offers a lot for me in terms of achieving my dreams and goals. I am the first in my family to go to college and the first to obtain any type of degree post high school. I believe that with this I will be able to advance my career and provide a stable future in academics and home life for me and my family.” – Nicholas Torres, junior from Blackwood, NJ (Camden County)

Interested in learning more?


Written by: Jordyn Dauter, junior double major in dance & elementary education

Photos by: Valentina Giannattasio

Header Image by DEZALB from Pixabay