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Career Fair Adds New Dimension to Annual Meeting Job Center

Liz Townsend, February 2014

Photo by Marc MonaghanThe number of interviews at the annual meeting Job Center dipped only slightly this year, with 67 searches conducted at AHA-provided tables or rooms in 2014, compared to 71 last year. In addition to hosting facilities for formal interviews, the Job Center featured a new event: the Career Fair. Giving students and job candidates an opportunity to network and discover the vast possibilities open to those with history training, the fair provided a lively, energizing Saturday afternoon at the meeting.

Mentors came from over 25 organizations and specialties, including National Library of Medicine, Georgetown University, US Department of State, Morgan State University, Northern Virginia Community College, University of Texas at Austin, NEH and Department of Education, National Council on Public History, St. Albans School, RAND Corporation, Bedford/St. Martin’s, Compass Lexecon, Naval History and Heritage Command, US Army Center of Military History, Smithsonian and National Museum of American History, and DC Public Schools. They gave advice and provided information to many attendees, reporting that they were “all talked out” after a busy four hours.

During the rest of the meeting, candidates interviewed with search committees in tables or rooms in various hotels. Although the number in Job Center facilities kept pace with last year, far fewer search committees reported their locations in privately arranged suites. Only 27 search committees let the Job Center know where they were interviewing, compared to 65 in 2013. This led to a great deal of confusion for some candidates, who hoped to be able to confirm the suite locations at the Job Center. Search committees are urged to inform AHA staff of their locations during the 2015 annual meeting; contact information can be found at www.historians.org/annual/jobs.

Planning is already underway for the Job Center and the second annual Career Fair in New York City next year. We hope that students, job candidates, and anyone interested in finding out about various career paths for historians will register for the annual meeting and attend the fair.

—Liz Townsend is the AHA’s coordinator, professional data and job center.