The History Department at MSU is committed to offering our graduate students a well-rounded education. While History students have long enjoyed success securing academic positions, the Department seeks to go beyond preparing students only for the professoriate. This ethic is especially important given the paucity of academic opportunity now and in the foreseeable future. Towards this end, the department has long sought to explore and embed non-academic opportunities in the graduate curriculum. In the past three years, for example, community partners such as the Michigan History Center and the Lansing State Journal have become institutions where history graduate students have interned and continue to intern.
In 2018, the MSU History Department was awarded the Career Diversity Implementation Grant by the American Historical Association (AHA). Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and administered by the AHA, the program will support two years of programming at over 20 departments across the United States, including ours. Over the course of the next two years, as a participating department, the History Department will aim to embed, institutionalize, and expand non-academic job opportunities as part of the graduate curriculum. To further this, the department will use the AHA grant to further explore and cement partnerships with community partners; create curricular additions in the form of regular workshops to be conducted by community partners; and develop further internship opportunities with a broad range of organizations.
As professionals trained to balance multi-variate contexts, sources, and vantage points, historians bring valuable skills to any profession they may choose, from journalism to entrepreneurship. Our own alumni have secured positions in university presses, university administration, and in a variety of cultural and civic institutions. In the MSU History Department, we believe that career diversity needs to be embedded in pedagogy of graduate education to truly make our well-rounded and competitive candidates in whatever professions they choose to seek. The Career Diversity Implementation Grant offers the perfect opportunity to jump start such a program. The grant kicks off in Fall 2018 and this page will be updated as programming evolves.