In a video on Oakland University’s YouTube channel, former Wall Street Journal business columnist John Stoll shared how a degree in history from Oakland University helped him stand out among his peers.

John Stoll, History, Alumni, Wall Street Journal, Detroit, Sarah Griffith

“You can do a lot with a history degree,” said Stoll, who is also a lecturer in the Department of Communication and Journalism at OU. “You’re going to learn a lot about how to classify information, how to find people, how to relate to people, and how to talk to people and empathize and see the other side of things that maybe you hadn’t seen before.”

Stoll graduated in 2000 with a B.A. in history and a minor in journalism and art history. He was the first in his family to earn a degree from a four-year college.

“Because of my OU history degree, I’m distinct,” Stoll said.

Stoll started his journalism career at Crain Communications, working in Automotive News and Autoweek. In addition, he worked for Wards Automotive, Reuters and Ford Motor Co. He joined The Wall Street Journal in 2005, covering General Motors and the American automobile industry, and in 2012 he moved to Sweden as the Nordic bureau chief.

Most recently, while working in the Detroit bureau, Stoll wrote a weekly column — “On Business” — for the WSJ that explored the biggest issues facing corporations and the people who run them, regulate them, supply them, buy from them or work for them.

“My job was basically to try to take the biggest business issues going on in corporate America and make them accessible for the weekend reader,” Stoll said. “The most exciting part of my job was to break news; to be able to go to your readers and say ‘Here’s something you didn’t know.’ It’s always an adrenaline rush to be the first.”

After 13 great years at the Wall Street Journal, Stoll is now eagerly looking forward to writing the next chapter in his career story and learning what new challenges lie ahead.

To view the full video, visit Oakland University’s YouTube channel.