Historians beyond Academia

While I can perfectly understand why this weeks readings might not be as useful to others in our program, I found them quite helpful. In my undergraduate history program I learned about various eras in extreme detail but never participated in internships or volunteered at historical institutions. I watched my political science, social work, and psychology friends work in their internships while I continued to write papers. While I don’t regret anything about my undergraduate education, I do wish that an internship had been included or at least a course including some of the different items discussed by Beatty and Stroh. Jim made the point that the percentages presented by the Dept. of Labor were not particularly in our favor as historians and I think that history students need to be given the tools to get ahead of their peers aiming for the same jobs. As Graduate students we need to be unafraid of fighting for internships.

Stroh mentions what he looks for when hiring: “When hiring, I seek passionpositivity, and energy. I expect a service orientation, and a smile.  I crave individuals who are curious and want to learn, but more importantly, those who take action on these intentions. I seek people who have confidence, courage, and faith, and who are willing to take risks.” While many of us may not have any problem displaying these features in public, applying for jobs online do little to show our personalities. USAJobs.gov occasionally has a job that I will apply for, but selling myself online is difficult. I have to be very intentional in my pursuit of internships and jobs with phone calls and personal interactions. Including different items discussed in this weeks readings will only aid my interaction and search for positions. After gaining my Masters I will certainly take this weeks advice and pursue my career through (hopefully) more successful venues.


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