While you’re at Bethel, we strongly encourage you integrate at least one internship into your studies as a History major.

Why should I look for an internship?

I would absolutely encourage students to look for internships; it makes a world of difference in the search for a good job. Internships give you experience, knowledge and something to put on a resume that looks good. (Alex Bolt ’13, intern at Northwestern Mutual)

Annie at the ASI
Annie Berglund at the American Swedish Institute

Internships provide unique opportunities not only to deepen your studies, but to start bridging the gap between your time at Bethel and your career after graduation. You’ll make important connections, and gain experience we can’t supply in the classroom.

Internships are so entirely important for college students…. Though I was apprehensive to apply for an internship that was unpaid, knowing that it would cut into the time I could spend working during the summer, it was definitely worth it since it has given me experience that I could not get anywhere else. (Annie Berglund ’14, intern at the American Swedish Institute)

In addition to gaining valuable skills and knowledge — and experience navigating a professional workplace — internships give you a chance to try a career on and discern your future direction.

…I needed that experience to figure out that I enjoyed the behind the scenes research process more than being in front teaching others about that history. (Gretchen Luhmann ’14, intern at Eidem Homestead)

What kind of internships are available to history majors?

Almost anything you can imagine. We’ve had students intern with financial services companies and local sports teams.

Check with Bethel’s Office of Career Development and Calling for news of specific postings or upcoming job/internship fairs, but the options available are limited only by your creativity and energy.

For setting up good internship opportunities, I would take advantage of any opportunities like job fairs or networking meetings. Talk to your friends about their jobs/internships, talk to your parents about their companies, talk to your friend’s parents about what they do, etc. Networking is huge. (Alex Bolt)

If you’re thinking about careers in law, politics, or government… Talk to Prof. Fred Van Geest, acting chair of the Political Science department, about internships at the Minnesota State Legislature or in local law firms.

But if you want to do an internship more directly connected to the study of the past… Take advantage of the fact that you’re going to college in a major metropolitan area with a number of fine museums and historical societies, including one of the biggest and best state historical societies in the country. Here just a few of the organizations where our students have interned in recent years:

  • Anj at the MN Historical Society
    The MN Historical Society internship program includes positions in a wide variety of fields: exhibit design, preservation, publishing, social media, community relations, etc.

    Minnesota Historical Society (St. Paul, MN): “At the MHS they have internships in a variety of departments. My internship started out with the Internship Program staff itself…. There is also a cohort experience, in which we met with the other interns four random nights through the semester, and we discussed current trends and issues in the museum field. We got to network with them, as well as get some behind-the-scenes access to the museum.” (Anj Thunberg ’13)

  • American Swedish Institute (Minneapolis, MN): “Though I plan on working toward a career in social studies education, this internship has shown me the value in a degree in history when working in a museum. Before I worked at ASI, I had hardly any concept of the amount of background planning, work, and research that goes into every exhibit and event at a museum…. Working at ASI or another museum in the future would be a great alternative to teaching!” (Annie Berglund)
  • Scott County Historical Society (Shakopee, MN): “The Scott County Historical Society was looking for two interns to redo an exhibit about Africa that they had…. What is fun about the internship is digging through archives, accessing items through the database, and the research involved. It is really exciting to be doing the research and knowing that people will view it someday. It is better than a paper because it is taking a three-dimensional form and is for the public, not just for a teacher.” (Jon Steen ’12)
  • Eidem Homestead (Brooklyn Park, MN): “I enjoyed working at Eidem, which has a smaller staff, because that meant that I would have a number of experiences rather than working in one specific department.” (Gretchen Luhmann)

Other local options include the historical societies for Washington, Carver, Ramsey, Anoka, Hennepin, and Dakota Counties and Gammelgården, a living history site in Scandia. Or considering applying for a summer internship with the Smithsonian Society in Washington, DC.

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