AHA Career Contacts

Photograph of Women Working at a Bell System Telephone Switchboard, c. 1945 http://research.archives.gov/description/1633445AHA Career Contacts is a service that matches history PhDs employed beyond the professoriate with graduate students and recent PhDs who are interested in broadening their career horizons.  Since the conversation around this issue began at the AHA in the fall of 2011, historians employed across a wide spectrum of professions and contexts have asked us how they can help the AHA normalize career paths that for them had to be exceptional. They want to help graduate students and recent PhDs appreciate and articulate how their training as historians qualifies them for careers other than as members of college and university faculty.  And increasingly, in visits to graduate programs and in conversations at the annual meeting, AHA staff has learned how hungry many graduate students and early career scholars are for this kind of advice and support.  AHA Career Contacts responds to these needs and seeks to bridge this gap.

Senior Contact Expectations 

  • Be available for a one-time informational interview, whether by phone, email, Skype, in person, etc.
  • Be willing to answer questions about career path choices, transition to non-academic work, daily work details, etc.
  • Be willing to provide feedback on professional materials, including resume, cover letter, etc.
  • Maintain a professional demeanor with junior contacts.

What Is Not Expected  

  • Initiate all contact
  • Have all the answers
  • Offer jobs or internship opportunities
  • Ongoing communication with junior contacts

Graduate Student/Early Career Contact Expectations 

  • Initiate contact with senior contact
  • Come to one-time informational interview prepared with questions about employment sector, senior contact career path, etc..
  • Maintain a professional demeanor with senior contact.
  • Recognize the limits of the program in terms of depth and continuity of contact

What Is Not Expected

  • Be completely decided as to desired career path
  • Be near to completion of PhD

Note: The AHA is working on putting together guide to career resources oriented toward job searches beyond the professoriate, which will help graduate and early career scholars prepare for informational interviews.

AHA Expectations

The AHA will match prospective junior contacts to senior contacts according to preferences for employment sector, type of work, geographic location, and/or field of study. The AHA will match only one senior contact at a time per junior contact request, but requests for multiple contacts will be honored as possible.  To participate as either a junior or senior contact, please fill out the appropriate form below.  If you have questions about the program, please contact Dylan Ruediger.