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Internships


One of the best ways to make the most of your graduate career is pursuing an internship. U-M History is especially proud of its Career Diversity Internship Program, which offers graduate student internships as an alternative to GSI assigments during the fall and winter academic terms. 

Internships afford students an opportunity to translate their historical thinking skills into professional assets for settings beyond the academy. They demonstrate to future employers that students have had practice working effectively in a variety of diverse work environments. The History Department regards internships as a valuable pursuit of practical experience that is integral to graduate training. The department sponsors and endorses programs that include financial compensation for graduate student labor. 

Opportunities are available both as a part of the academic term and during the summer. For example, positions offered through the department such as the Career Diversity Internship Program and the Gerald Saxon Brown Digital Skills Internship offer students a professionalization opportunity during the academic term as an alternative to GSI assignments. Alternatively, Rackham's Public Scholarship Program provides students with summer fellowships to work at a variety of humanities-related institutions. Click below for more information regarding each program.

Career Diversity Internship Program (UM-ProQuest Partnership)

U-M History’s Career Diversity Internship Program (CDIP) develops professional relationships with organizations to host a PhD candidate for an internship appointment during an academic term. These internships offer History graduate students professional experience different from the classroom teaching they perform as GSIs. The department typically offers two CDIP internship opportunities each semester.

ProQuest is the current partner for CDIP internships. The last decade has seen an explosion of digitization in archives of all kinds, creating new issues around accession and access to archival sources. While some scholarly institutions have pursued their own digital platforms, the movement toward digitization has opened a new space for commercial enterprise. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, ProQuest is one of the largest entrants into this field, and it is now a ubiquitous presence in the digital research landscape affecting researchers of all stripes. Research institutions like U-M routinely contract with these commercial database companies to feed the demand for primary sources that are just a click away. This internship partnership with ProQuest presents the opportunity for U-M History graduate students to experience and learn from what goes on behind the scenes in a commercial database company.

In winter 2019, the inaugural UM-ProQuest interns worked on two projects. Meg Showalter helped develop ProQuest's Trends and Policy product line, which covers primary source materials relating to immigration from 1790 to 2019. David Spreen contributed to the Global Issues Library, a program at ProQuest that focuses primarily on international sources.

UM-ProQuest interns join a professional environment serving a diverse set of audiences. They work virtually from Ann Arbor for 20 hours per week and receive compensation at the current GSRA/GSI rate, plus tuition and GradCare. These internship opportunities are intended to offer graduate students practical experience in a professional setting beyond the History Department. ProQuest will interview all applicants and choose their preferred candidates.

Application Process: Calls for applications are issued on as-needed basis for internships beginning in September and/or January.

Gerald Saxon Brown Digital Skills Internship

The Gerald Saxon Brown Digital Skills Internship provides a History or joint-History graduate student the opportunity to develop their digital, collaborative, and communication skills while working on public engagement projects that make historical research relevant and accessible. This program is available as an alternative to a GSI assignment.

Working with the Department of History's Career Diversity and Public Engagement Team, this intern will create and carry out a work plan designed to build demonstrable digital skill sets that will augment training for a wide variety of careers. Prior interns have served as executive producer of Reverb Effect, a U-M History podcast that presents historical scholarship to wider public audiences. The internship is funded by a generous gift from Catherine and Gary Andrejak, commemorating Catherine’s father and former History faculty member Gerald Saxon Brown (1911-1999). 

Application Process: The call for applications takes place in March or April for a September-May internship.

Rackham Program in Public Scholarship

The Rackham Program in Public Scholarship features programming related to pedagogy, internships, and publicly engaged scholarship. Its Rackham Public Engagement Fellowship is a competitive program that places graduate students in an organization or institution dedicated to various types of work in the humanities. Fellows work no more than 20 hours a week for three to four months during the summer; compensation rates vary. 

Previous institutional partners include the Hatcher Library, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, The Henry Ford, Clements Library, University of Michigan Press, Bentley Historical Library, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and others. For the Humanities PhD Project, recent U-M History graduate students Allison KemmerleAna M. Silva, and Shana Melnysyn have shared their thoughts on the value of their participation in the Program in Public Scholarship.

Application Process: Link for details.