• Student Outside Bush Memorial Library

    Careers and Postgraduate Opportunities

    History graduates pursue careers in the liberal professions and public service from teaching to law, from community service to governmental agencies. The department works closely with the program in education for students seeking the licensure in Social Studies.

    Meet a Graduate

    Emilyn ’05

    For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in issues of racial and economic justice. My parents were very politically active and this influenced me. I remember campaigning with them and going to different fundraising events. In 1992 I eagerly watched the election returns hoping that Bill Clinton would win. 

    I saw politics in an idealistic way. It was a way to empower people and create social change. When I got into high school I saw history as a story of past struggles, and social triumphs. I also discovered the importance of studying another language (Spanish) and saw it as a way to connect with people of other cultures. 

    As a young girl my parents were great role models. My father is a lawyer and I admired his passion and desire to work for social and economic justice. I knew I wanted to do something similar, but was not exactly sure of my career goal yet.   

    I had some incredible experiences during my Hamline years. I completed an intense three-week study of the Holocaust in Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands in January 2003. In the fall of 2004 I studied at American University in Washington D.C. My best experiences were taking a foreign policy seminar and interning in my Senator’s Capital Hill Office. This was perfect for me as I was able to learn about all kinds of international relations issues and implementation. My semester in Washington, D.C. helped me realize my goal. I want to work for immigrants in this country who have established legal status, but face other struggles including housing discrimination, sexual harassment in the work place, and other civil rights obstacles. 

    My professors at Hamline University were absolutely wonderful. They helped me pinpoint my career interests. They were always there to listen to my dreams or write letters of recommendation. They became mentors and friends. As I reflect on my history and political science classes, I know the heavy reading assignments prepared me well for the work I will face in law school.   

    My advice to students: be patient and find your passion. If things don’t work out the way you planned them, there is something else better along the way. Take advantage of the wonderful professors at Hamline. They will go the extra mile. You just have to show them that you care and that you will work hard

    Todd ’98

    I look back at my short time at Hamline as some of the best years of my life. It was a time of incredible growth and maturation -- and I had a bit of fun along the way too. It was at Hamline that I laid the earliest foundation for my current career. As a history major, I felt I never had the right answer to the question, “A history major, so are you going to teach?” Of course, teachers have my utmost respect, but I never saw myself following that path. Yet I didn’t know where else I might be able to use my education. A course in public history, taught by Dr. Richard Kagan, introduced me to some of the local historical societies in the Saint Paul/Minneapolis area. I came to realize that what I was learning at Hamline could be used in many areas. In the spring of my senior year, I interned for Twin Cities Public Television’s NewsNight Minnesota and began to build my professional career. By the end of the summer, I was working in the library at the Minnesota History Center. Over the next seven years, I worked as an historic site guide for the Minnesota Historical Society, an archivist for the Kautz Family YMCA Archives, and a museum administrator for the Hennepin History Museum before the Anoka County Historical Society hired me as their executive director. 

    Early on, I had my resume reviewed by Hamline’s Career Development Center and knew I could always count on Dr. Nurith Zmora as a reference or for a letter of recommendation. The research and writing of my honors thesis was incredibly helpful with opening doors to research positions, so was publishing it in the conference proceedings of the National Conference for Undergraduate Research. Besides my history courses, English classes with Donald Rice and Alan Silva sharpened my writing skills and introduced me to works of literature I still count among my favorites.  

    My advice to students thinking about a career is to keep your options open and don’t be afraid to explore. But most important, don’t expect to find what you are looking for right away. I was thirty years old before I finally was in a position to have only one job (prior to that I always had at least two jobs, sometimes three). A graduate degree is important (I am currently finishing my Masters in Public and Nonprofit Administration at Metropolitan State University), but many programs are vocationally orientated and do not allow for the exploration you have as an undergraduate. So take advantage of the freedom you have and explore your options.