Monday, January 28, 2013

What Employers Are Looking For in Public History Graduates

Scott Stroh, the Executive Director of the Milwaukee County Historical Society, has a nice piece at History@Work with some suggestions for public history graduates.  Stroh notes that graduates of public history programs often look for work in cultural organizations with a mission to inspire, challenge, question, nurture, inform, educate.  These kinds of organizations provide opportunities for reflection, action, debate, dialogue, and "enrichment through interaction with people, place, and heritage."  He thus concludes that professional development for public history students must go beyond the discipline. Here are a few suggestions.
  • Take a course in public speaking.
  • Look for opportunities to "speak about something you love."
  • Join a civic or community organization.
  • Be "relentlessly positive" and passionate.
  • "Implement an innovative and entrepreneurial history-based initiative addressing a specific community need."
  • "Embrace the Power of Possibility."
  •  Carry a notepad or a smart phone so you can jot down "everything and every situation in which you are inspired, impressed, or from which you learn something."
  • Raise money for a cause that is important to you.
  • Find a public history mentor.
  • Evaluate your goals on a regular basis. 
Great stuff.