AHA Career Contacts

Photograph of Women Working at a Bell System Telephone Switchboard, c. 1945 http://research.archives.gov/description/1633445Since its launch in early 2015, the AHA’s Career Contacts program has arranged hundreds of informational interviews between current PhD students (junior contacts) and history PhDs (senior contacts) who have built careers beyond the professoriate. Senior contacts work in a variety of fields, including academic administration, non-profit management, public policy, archives and libraries, K-12 teaching, as well as a range of positions in the federal government and private industry.

Read more about becoming a junior or senior contact below, and sign up by filling out the linked Airtable Forms. If you have questions about the program, please contact Rachel Wheatley.

Become a Junior Contact

Interested in learning more about what you can do with a PhD in history? Informational interviews are a great way to broaden your understanding of where historians work while expanding your professional network. This service connects history PhDs and early-career historians for one-time informational interviews with historians working in a variety of fields, all of whom are willing to speak about the nature of their work and the paths that took them there. These conversations are useful at all stages of professional development, whether you are beginning to explore your options or have a clear sense of direction.

Complete the Airtable Form linked below, and AHA staff will match you with a senior contact based on your preferences for employment sector, type of work, geographic location, and/or field of study.

Junior Contact Expectations

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

Due to staffing limitations, we are only able to match PhD students in history or recent history PhDs from U.S. or Canadian universities.

Sign Up Now

Selected Testimonials

"The interviewee helped guide me when I wasn't sure where I was going myself."

"I really appreciate that the AHA took so much care in selecting a good contact for me to speak with that matched my interests."

"The senior contact offered good concrete advice on how to improve my resume and prepare it for the market in which I am seeking a position."

"The senior career contact I was put in touch with was extremely generous with her time, encouraging, [and] immensely helpful."

"My senior contact was very generous with her advice and her time, and has invited me to remain in contact with her if I have further questions."

Become a Senior Contact

We are always looking to expand our network of history PhDS who have built rewarding careers beyond the professoriate. If you are a historian working in a field other than post-secondary teaching, please consider joining our Career Contacts program as a senior contact. Making yourself available for occasional informational interviews is a great way to engage with the community of historians and help junior historians articulate the value of their training and of historical perspectives in a variety of professional settings.

To participate, sign up using the Airtable Form below. AHA staff will contact you directly when we have matched you with a graduate student.

Senior Contact Expectations

  • Be available for occasional one-time informational interviews (generally less than one per month), 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.

Sign Up Now

Selected Testimonials

"The informational interview match exceeded my expectations. She was extremely well prepared, managed the scheduling process easily, asked good questions and follow-up questions, and thanked me . . . for my time and candor."

"He was curious and asked a lot of questions, which I really enjoyed. I truly want to help . . . and figuring out ways to assist him was really meaningful."

"Wonderful opportunity to talk openly and honestly with younger historian about realities of the market, career aspirations, and skill development."

"Great experience to talk with a newly minted, enthusiastic PhD who is open to possibilities beyond the tenure track."