Internships for history students
Internships are a great way to earn practical experience while you’re still in college. They can help you build professional skills, give you a sense of what it’s like to work in your field, and even lead to a job offer when you graduate. A good internship can set you up for life—but it takes time and effort on your part.
Here are our top tips for making the most out of your internship experience:
- Internship experience will be different than classroom learning. Make sure to ask questions about things that aren’t clear so that you get a better understanding of how things work in the real world.
- If there’s something specific you want to learn or do during your internship, discuss it with your supervisor at the beginning of your internship and check back regularly throughout the semester to make sure this is happening.
- Don’t leave all the work up to yourself. If there’s an assignment where you’ll need more direction or guidance, schedule some time with your supervisor so they can walk you through it and make sure everything goes smoothly from start to finish
The best internships for history majors will allow you to work closely with historical artifacts or documents.
The best internships for history majors will allow you to work with historical artifacts or documents; however, the most ideal internships offer opportunities to work with both.
Many internships for history students offer the chance to work in archives, museums, libraries and other cultural sites.
Many internships for history students offer the chance to work in archives, museums, libraries and other cultural sites. You may have the opportunity to work with historical artifacts or documents, and do hands-on research and curation which will help you gain a deeper understanding of history and its preservation. You might also get to work on historical preservation or research of items or information that is relevant to the mission of your organization. If you are interested in working in education about history, an internship with a museum or library could provide you with opportunities to create learning activities for children as well as adults.
History internships where you can do hands-on research, curation or preservation of historical artifacts and documents are ideal.
History internships can be carried out at museums, libraries, archives, or other cultural sites. Museums and archives are the most popular and common places for history interns to work. Gain an understanding of how collections are curated and displayed and learn best practices for the preservation of historical artifacts and documents.
Local, state and national governments often offer internships related to historical research, preservation and education.
Internships are often available to students and recent graduates of history programs. These internships typically involve assisting with historical research, preservation and education on a local, state or national level. Internships can be part-time or full-time, remote or in-person. While internships are usually unpaid, some may allow you to earn academic credit for your participation.
You may need to look through a variety of government websites to find published internship openings as well as listings for internships administered through university programs.
If you want to start an internship search, these sites may provide a good starting point.
- U.S Department of State: This site lists internships offered within the State Department, including paid and unpaid internships for college students, graduate school students, and professionals seeking mid-career opportunities.
- University of Washington: A number of universities have web pages that list internship opportunities for their students. For example, at the University of Washington history majors can find local and national internships on this page.
- Internships.com: This site is a job posting database for all kinds of industries, although it does feature government internships as well as internships through university programs such as the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas in Washington program on its main page (with additional listings available via search).
If you’d like to work with a historical collection that is focused on a particular topic area, take a look at the organization’s website for internship information.
If you’re interested in a specific topic area, look at organizations that hold collections within that topic area. For example, you might be interested in women’s history. While this is not its own “topic area” like European or African history are, there are numerous museums and libraries that have large collections related to women’s history. If this interest resonates with you, it’s worth taking the time to explore the collections of potential internship hosts and make note of what they have available on your topic of interest.
If you email your resume and cover letter directly to an organization, be sure to convey your enthusiasm for the particular collection that you’d like to work with.
In addition to using the resources listed above, history students may also want to reach out to organizations that have collections of interest to them directly. If you email your resume and cover letter directly to an organization, be sure to convey your enthusiasm for the particular collection that you’d like to work with.
If you are unable to find an internship or volunteer opportunity at a particular organization, don’t hesitate to ask about other ways you can help! Many organizations would be happy for your help with a variety of tasks that would allow you valuable access to their collections.
You can also inquire about volunteer opportunities in archives and collections if there aren’t any internships available at the time that you’re interested in applying.
While the main goal of an internship is the opportunity to gain practical skills and experience, you can also benefit from the connections you’ll make with other people in the field. If you’re interested in becoming a professional historian, internships are a great way to start networking and building your reputation. Even if a potential employer doesn’t have an opening for a job at that time, he or she may remember you when one becomes available in the future. This can be particularly valuable if your goal is to work at a particular organization or institution.
Unfortunately, many institutions don’t advertise internships on their websites or elsewhere unless they’re accepting applications at that moment. Because this opportunity requires considerable effort on your part, it’s best not to wait until they post something before asking about it yourself. A straightforward inquiry—via email or phone—shows initiative and genuine interest in working there, which may make them more receptive to having an intern on staff than they would be otherwise. Another advantage of this tactic is that some organizations only accept interns during certain times of year; by asking about opportunities directly, you can learn when it’s best for them (and for you) to do so.
Although some institutions have formal internship programs that require special registration as well as other expectations and requirements, others don’t offer such things but will still take volunteers who are willing to help out around the collection or archive. You might be able to find these kinds of opportunities by reaching out through social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook or by simply checking their website for information about volunteering
Doing an internship related to history will give new meaning to your coursework by helping you apply what you’ve learned while building your professional skills.
Internships are a great way to apply what you’ve learned in your history classes and gain new skills. They provide opportunities to work in a professional environment, network with professionals, and build your resume.
If you enjoy history, you should consider interning at a local museum or gallery. When working with artifacts and historical documents, you’ll learn how to take care of these items and get more comfortable viewing them as part of everyday life instead of solely in the context of academic study. You can also gain experience in giving tours or talks about an exhibit, which will help if you’re interested in public speaking. Additionally, doing an internship related to history will give new meaning to your coursework by helping you apply what you’ve learned while building your professional skills.
While exploring internship opportunities during college is important, it’s not just a means to an end—it can help shape your career goals too! Internships that relate directly to history may be helpful for finding jobs after graduation. However, not all internships have to be directly linked with your major for them to be beneficial for later on! Look for job openings related to different industries and see if they require similar skill sets as the ones required in museums or galleries—then use that information when searching for internships that are relevant beyond just the subject matter.