Alumni Profile: Christine Corkran '05

  • Christine Corkran '05 Christine Corkran '05 Image Credit: Eric Forberger
History Minor, 2005; Honors in History, 2005
Corporate Counsel - Mergers & Acquisitions, Tyco

At a basic level, my history courses taught me skills essential for legal practice. I learned how to evaluate sources and the way that facts can be used (and misused). My coursework also taught me how to digest a large volume of information from a diverse set of sources, to consider it critically, and to present it in a way that others could understand, whether it was orally through lively seminar discussions, in writing through the drafting of many papers, or visually through the recreation of a Paris 1968 street scene at the Phillips Museum as part of my senior honors project.  And while the subject matter of my history classes does not often come up in my day to day practice, the law is history in its own right. Laws are drafted and revised as a result of history, and legal precedent is an historical record of a court's interpretation of those laws based on a set of facts at a particular moment in time, or a pattern of those facts over a series of moments in time.  Reviewing, analyzing, and applying the law is a specialized way to understand and learn from the past.

More notably, my history minor shaped the way I see the world. My practice as a global mergers & acquisitions attorney requires me to travel internationally and to understand and accommodate other cultures as part of negotiating and completing cross border transactions -- to overcome the "barricades" of assorted histories and sometimes conflicting legal structures to achieve a common goal. My desire to travel and my comfort level in doing so are a direct result of my experiences as a history student. My independent study of Holocaust memorials in Eastern Europe was transformative -- it gave me confidence in navigating new and strange places, taught me to appreciate a wrong turn or a missed train, and allowed me to experience a beautiful region of the world through the lens of a complicated history. Though I have traveled extensively since then, that trip to experience the past first hand is the one to which I attribute so many of my accomplishments, both personally and professionally, as well as my commitment to seize every opportunity to explore the world, its people and its past.

Editor's Note: Christine remains committed to F&M and is currently vice president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. In 2011 she was among the first recipients of the GOLD Alumni Award, which recognizes young and emerging alumni leaders who have graduated within the last 10 years. 

"My history minor shaped the way I see the world."
Christine Corkran '05

Christine's History Honors Project, 2005

In her final semester at F&M in 2005, Christine completed a 97-page research paper on the Parisian student movement in 1968 while mounting an exhibit in the Phillips Museum of Art based on her research. She was awarded Honors by the History Department for her thesis. Click below to see photos from the exhibit.  

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