Internships & Careers

HIST 397 Internship in History (1-15 s.h.)

"Bottom line is that finding work can be a real challenge. This is where internships come in."

Peter M. Donaghy, SUNY Oneonta History intern

HIST 397 Internship in History provides students with hands-on experience in the direct application of historical techniques including, but not limited to, the accession, classification and description of documents, research of subjects, and exhibition of artifacts. Students will be placed in field agencies on the basis of their interests and approval of personnel. Open to Jr. and Sr. history majors who have completed 12 s.h. in upper-level history courses. Approval of the advisor and department is also required. Please contact the departmental internship coordinator, Dr. Thomas D. Beal to learn more about HIST 397 Internship in History.

Internship Opportunities

Internship in Oral History at Cooperstown Graduate Program

The Cooperstown Graduate Program seeks an undergraduate history student with an interest in public history or in museums. This internship will provide an opportunity to assist with an oral history project at the Cooperstown Graduate Program. Duties will consist of digitization of older collections, local history research, collaboration on program and website development, transcribing oral history interviews, and organizing existing oral history interview materials as well as any other duties the project necessitates. Site Sponsor:

Fenimore Art Museum and the Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown

The Fenimore Art Museum and the Farmers' Museum seek dynamic interns to work with program development and delivery in the Education Department. Internships are available to undergraduate and graduate students and recent college graduates throughout the academic year (spring and fall), and during the summer (May-August). We primarily offer part-time volunteer positions and can work with students to receive college or service credit.

Possible Projects

We place interns in several areas within education and will do our best to match interns with their areas of interest and career goals. Our primary needs include working with families and children for our summer Week-Long Experiences, education events, and special programming. Other projects may include event coordination, program delivery, program research and development, and web-based and social media projects.


Ability to research and develop engaging museum programs; programmatic experience engaging public audiences; event/program planning skills; knowledge of internal museum operations; increased communication and workplace skills

Contact and Deadlines

Interested students should send a cover letter and resume to: Fenimore Art Museum:; Farmers' Museum:

Materials are due on the following dates: Fall Internships: July 15; Spring Internships: November 15; Summer Internships: March 15

Student Intern Testimonials

Peter M. Donaghy

Thomas Paine National Historical Association Collection, Iona College

"My first large-scale project at Iona College and the Thomas Paine National Historical Association was TPNHA’s exhibit on the adventure of Tom Paine’s bones (The Association actually holds onto the only confirmed remains of Paine, a piece of his brain and some hair.) The TPNHA was also looking to market the organization a bit better. Following my suggestion, they took to creating an iPad/iPod app. In terms of helping me navigate the treacherous course better known as one’s career path, this internship helped me fine tune my goals of going into education. All in all, it was a great experience that gave me insight to a possible career path and taught me how to be a professional."

Connie Randall

Schuyler County Historical Society

"Working at the Native American artifact collection at my local historical society gave me an introduction into museum archaeology. My primary tasks at the Schuyler County Historical Society were to identify, catalogue and photograph artifacts and to redesign the main portions of the exhibit space. Working with the community and creating the displays was a wonderful experience for me that solidified the idea that archaeology needs to be done for the layperson as well."

Kurt Nicolaisen

Hudson Maritime Museum

"My first two semesters at SUNY Oneonta really opened my eyes to how much work was truly needed to gain an MA in museum studies and work in a museum. I took this realization very seriously, attended a workshop for history careers, and visited the museum studies program in Cooperstown. Both stressed the importance of connections and experience. Internships are an excellent way to gain these. This internship at the Hudson River Maritime Museum greatly helped me in my future career path. I learned what I would do in a museum and the different options within the field of museum work. For my future career in museums I will know what will be expected of me."

John Darrin

Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island

"Starting my internship at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, I was looking for a different experience than I had interning at the Special Collections library at Hofstra. Though I enjoyed archiving, I wanted to gain experience in an education environment. I also served as an intern to increase my professional networks and show employers that I could work in different settings. The History Department at Oneonta was a great help in my career exploration. At the Cradle of Aviation I learned a great deal about physics and aviation, and created lesson plans for students in the classroom. I got constructive criticism that I needed in order to pursue a career in education. Through the internship I realized that I should aim for jobs that involve a combination of research and working with people."

Angela Taylor

Sherburne Public Library

"There are many reasons that I decided to undertake an internship at Sherburne Public Library. I always enjoyed libraries and reading, and therefore decided to find out what is expected of librarians. Going through this process allowed me to decide whether or not to go to graduate school and which career I hope for. The internship was extremely helpful, and I would highly recommend other students try it. Before my internship, I was unsure of what I could do with my History degree in the future. During my time as an intern at Sherburne Public Library, I learned how a non-profit library is run and how they are funded. The Sherburne Library uses a program called “Work Flows” to keep track of books and movies. Now that I know how to use this program, I could work in most libraries in New York. I was also taught how to do simple restorations on books, the ordering process, and even social skills, due to working in the children’s section and participating in programs put on by the library."

Tim Furlow

Long Island Maritime Museum Experience

"My goals as an intern at the Long Island Maritime Museum were to learn about the career and culture of working in a museum, with the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge from the Maritime Museum staff. My duties included taking phone calls and research for a new exhibit on the War of 1812. Once I spent a whole day helping move boats. Economically the Long Island Maritime Museum opened my eyes. They have a very friendly easygoing staff, but they are very short staffed, and short of money. The Long Island Maritime Museum helped educate me that I could not just expect to get a job in a museum. There appeared to be very few jobs, and very small pay to go along with it. The reality of working in a museum opened my eyes to new possibilities. It drew me to law. Lawyers are, in some way, historians, since all of law is based on history. At the Long Island Maritime Museum I learned the positives and negatives. I am thankful that they allowed me into their work environment, and appreciated their honesty."

What Can I Do With This Major?

Antique Dealer
Exhibit Designer
Foreign News Correspondent
Foreign Service Officer
Government Official
Historical Advisor
Information Specialist
Legal Assistant
Museum Technician/Curator
Political Scientist
Public Administrator
Research Assistant
Urban Administrator

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