Pinterest

Top Takeaways from the #AASLHMMA2016 Mentoring Roundtable

by Brian Failing, Executive Director, Aurora Regional Fire Museum on

img_0270

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Detroit for our Emerging History Professionals Mentoring Roundtable (and for our Happy Hour aftewards, pictured above). As we reflect on our experiences in Detroit we would like to send a special thanks to the leaders from across the country who made for an engaging discussion. Mentors are involved in everything from museum education and administration to programming and community engagement. Mentors were from local history museums on up to the National Park Service.

Here are the top 8 tips and tid-bits we overheard during our session:

  1. Grow. Look for places where you can grow and learn new things. Do not be afraid to try new positions, network, or get involved in professional organizations. Be open to all experiences in the museum field.
  2. Have a Passion. What excites you about working in the history field? Is it museums? Teaching? Objects? Identify what your passion is and learn all you can about it.
  3. Network. It is a small field. Make sure to take advantage of every opportunity to form relationships in the present and future. Network formally and informally. Conferences provide ample time to meet new people, be sure to take advantage of happy hours, evening events, and coffee breaks in the exhibit hall.
  4. Reach Out. Do not be afraid to have a discussion with those you look up to in the field. Write an email or pick up the phone, introduce yourself and ask if you could set up a time to ask them some questions about their work or career path.
  5. Be Diverse. What do you do when you leave work? We all need hobbies and interests outside work. What is yours? Employers what to know what you are like as a person and see that you do more than just go to work.
  6. Jobs. There are a lot of opportunities for emerging history professionals to enter into the history field. There are museums and cultural institutions across the country and the world. AASLH updates their Career Center weekly. (http://jobs.aaslh.org/)
  7. Remember, at the end of the day you are not alone. There are a variety of resources available to emerging professionals in many of the professional history organizations.
  8. Pool Noodles are Archival Safe. Thanks to our Field Services Alliance rep for this fun fact.

 

Callie Hawkins, Associate Director for Programs at Lincoln's Cottage, introducing herself before the roundtable begins.

Our panelists introducing themselves before the roundtable begins.

 

As an affinity community our goals include providing support and professional development opportunities for emerging history professionals and creating and maintaining physical and digital spaces where EHPs can meet, discuss ideas, and network. We hope these tips will help you navigate your way as an emerging history professional. See you next year at the 2017 AASLH Annual  Meeting in Austin! Did we miss anything? Comment below with more tips.

Leave a Reply