Jean-Claude Lovius has been an Information Analyst at the World Bank Group since 2003.  In that role, he is involved with Client Services and delivering Corporate Training. 

Jean-Claude says, “I took a circuitous route from graduating as a history major to working in IT. I had to go through a process of discovery to find my niche.”  He originally pursued a degree in history with an eye to going to law school.   Later, he got to spend some time with some lawyers, and they gave him a close-up look at what they do.  “I decided that wasn’t where I wanted to go.  As a history major, I didn’t have the same ready-made template to follow like, say, a pre-med or economics major, so I searched my interests for something I enjoyed doing that could become a good career.   Sales and computers are what I decided to pursue.”

“I’d been involved in retail and direct sales since high school, so for a time after graduating I was involved in different ventures with varied levels of success.  I traveled all over the country for various sales trainings, met several direct sales gurus, and saw three different stars of the movie ‘The Secret’.   It was my Wilderness Period.  After several sales jobs I sought to get back to something more technical, and worked at a call center for a company that supported smartphones for banks around the country.  That position gave me some insight into how financial institutions worked, but it was exclusively 3rd-shift, so I had to move on. 

“In 1997 I found an opportunity to become a contractor at the World Bank.  The position wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I saw it as a chance to get a foot in the door.   Over time I was able to move to a career track in IT which was one of my passions.  In my role at Client Services I found I had a gift for teaching and became involved in providing technical training.  I looked for opportunities to take training and find mentors who were involved with what I wanted to do and build relationships with them.  I have had several great mentors to help guide me on my career path. I would say this is one of the most important things to keep in mind at every step of your career journey: it’s immensely helpful to have someone in your corner who knows the lay of the land.   

Jean-Claude reflects: “What has graduating with a history degree done for me?   I believe it fostered in me a different way of asking questions.  A historian is trained to find original source material and find answers for themselves that may defy convention and permanently change perceptions.  When you go to where the evidence takes you, you can discover insights and think thoughts that others have but maybe not for a very long time, which makes them ‘new’ again.     

“Go through this process enough times and you may gain a tendency to not just accept superficial or obvious explanations, but to look for the unseen connections and habitually look for creative answers.   This changes how you approach solving problems, or in my case how to best deliver training solutions, how to anticipate my clients’ needs, and how to think analytically after closely examining all factors in a given situation. Being a computer guy with a natural curiosity enhanced by my training as a history major has been a good mix for me.   Studying history shows you how circumstances change but human nature does not, so I feel it has also given me a gift in responding to events in my everyday life in a way I never would have otherwise.”

Finally, he adds: “Employers are looking for people who can learn and adapt.  My goal was to get into a great company, and then do what was needed to move into areas that fit my interests and talents, which is what I did.  All the best to you current CUA students and grads in finding career success!”