I'm a lot like your friend, though, in that I'm also a history major(!) and my grades were always very good. Not so much now that I'm in a crazy competitive university, but I was pretty much a straight-A student before then (in my previous university and in high school). I also like trivia (a LOT; I'm known among my friends for being full of random knowledge). I'm social in the sense that I really enjoy talking to people, but I do try to be friendly as well. I've been told that I'm warm, but not THAT warm but I do what I can.
Also, my favorite subjects to learn (besides art and music and history) are languages, because I love that style of learning. It's so rewarding to be able to communicate in another language, and figure it out. It's problem solving, and it's creative, and I think I'm pretty good at it (because my ear is good, from being such a musician).
I really like discussing things, but not debating things. A good discussion is one of my favorite things in the world to participate in (which is one reason why I love my ENFJ and ENTP friends so much; I could talk to them for hours about just about any topic). But once it becomes a debate, people's emotions get involved, and it gets competitive, and you aren't looking for consensus anymore; you're looking for victory. I can be easily suckered in to debates, but I always leave feeling angry and regretting that I ever got involved.
My answer is somewhere between "no" and "it depends". It's an issue of maturity. I think most ESTJs, as kids, have a tendency towards that behavior, i.e. blurting out rude and arrogant-sounding things without realizing that people's feelings will be hurt. But as an ESTJ gets older (and I'll bet this is the case with ENTJs too), there comes a time when they have to make a choice: Restrain their Te, or be considered a total jerk regardless of whether they are or not. Some ESTJs don't care what people think of them as long as they're respected, so they remain bossy and controlling as they grow up. But others - and I consider myself to be in this group - see that behavior as problematic and realize that they need to stop. They start making a conscious effort to consider other people before speaking; using more Fi ("Think of your VALUES! Don't you want to be NICE??") and more Fe ("What you want to be saying right now is absolutely inappropriate to the situation. If you're going to say it, say it in private, and in a non-offensive way.")are most ESTJ's this strange combination of mean and nice?
Regarding your friend in particular, it seems like a lot of her mean-ness probably comes from being too blunt and goal-driven - I say this because if she considers herself mean, then she's actually a nice person who just acts like a jerk. The fact that she improved when people told her what she was doing wrong is especially a sign that it's a maturity issue that she's dealing with gradually.
So I guess, in short, a lot of ESTJs do act this way, but at different points in their lives.
p.s. I'd love to hear feedback on this answer from other people who know ESTJs, because I'm interested in whether it rings true.