Career Exploration Essay

Choose a potential job in the field of public history of interest and investigate this career path. You should identify an organization, either locally, or somewhere you’d like to live, that employs public historians in this type of work. Have an informational interview with someone in that position.

Your interview questions should ask them about their training, career path, and skill set in order to help you investigate this career path. Questions may include: what do they do? How do they spend their time? What training or education did they need? What do they like about their job? What are the challenges? What advice do they have for someone interested in that type of work?

Your essay should include an overview of the career path informed by the essays in Public History: Essays from the Field, information about the person and organization interviewed, a summary of their answers, and your response to this exploration. How will this help you plan for a career in public history?


* Check out the GMU Career Center page about Informational Interviews. Please note that a thank you note or email is a crucial component of this process.

Learning Objectives for the Career Exploration Essay

  • To identify a career path of interest
  • To make a professional contact in the field
  • To interview a professional working in chosen field of interest
  • To summarize and interpret an oral interview
  • To consider the training, skills, and experiences required for this career path
  • To incorporate quotes, write paraphrases and summaries, and cite sources appropriately
  • To execute a polished, well-organized, and error-free piece of writing

Requirements

  • Essay should be 750 – 1,000 words / 3 – 4 pages
  • Essay must have an original title
  • 12 pt font, double-spaced, 1-inch margins (Times New Roman/Cambria/Garamond)
  • Citations and bibliography in Chicago style
  • Include a copy or transcription of your thank you note at the end of your essay.

Timeline

  • Week 10 – Proposed career path and proposed interviewee due via blog post
  • Week 11 – Instructor approval of proposed interviewee required
  • Week 15 – Oral presentation of Career Exploration due in class
  • Week 16 – FINAL DRAFT DUE IN DROPBOX BY 5PM DECEMBER 14.

Evaluation

Grading of the final draft will be according to a distributed rubric. Your grade on the Career Exploration Essay counts for 15% of the course grade.

Rubric for Career Exploration

A:  In an “A” paper, the student demonstrates that they

  • have identified a career path of interest
  • have interviewed a professional working in their chosen field of interest
  • can summarize and thoughtfully interpret an oral interview
  • can place the content from their informational interview in the context of the appropriate essays in Public History: Essays from the Field
  • have thoroughly considered the training, skills, and experiences required for this career path and how they might acquire them
  • can incorporate quotes, write paraphrases and summaries, and cite sources appropriately
  • can execute a polished, well-organized, and error-free piece of writing
  • can appropriately thank a professional contact for their time

B:  In a “B” paper, the student demonstrates that they

  • have identified a career path of interest
  • have interviewed a professional working in their chosen field of interest
  • can summarize and offer some interpretation of an oral interview
  • can place the content from their informational interview in the context of the appropriate essays in Public History: Essays from the Field
  • can convey to the reader the training, skills, and experiences required for this career path and have considered how they might acquire them
  • can incorporate quotes, write paraphrases and summary, and cite sources correctly
  • can execute an organized and error-free piece of writing
  • can appropriately thank a professional contact for their time

C:  In a “C” paper, the student demonstrates that they

  • have identified a career path of interest
  • have interviewed a professional working in their chosen field of interest
  • can repeat and interpret components of an oral interview
  • have attempted to place the content from their informational interview in the context of the appropriate essays in Public History: Essays from the Field
  • can convey to the reader the training, skills, and experiences required for this career path and have considered how they might acquire them
  • have difficulty incorporating quotes, writing paraphrases and summaries, or citing sources correctly
  • have difficulty executing an organized and error-free piece of writing
  • have attempted to appropriately thank a professional contact for their time

D:  In a “D” paper, the student demonstrates that they

  • have attempted to identify a career path of interest
  • have interviewed a professional working in their chosen field of interest
  • have attempted to repeat and interpret components of an oral interview
  • have attempted to identify the training, skills, and experiences required for this career path
  • have difficulty incorporating quotes, writing paraphrases and summaries, or citing sources correctly
  • have difficulty executing an organized and error-free piece of formal writing
  • have difficulty writing professional communication, such as a thank you note

F:  In an “F” paper, the student demonstrates that they

  • have failed to respond to the given prompt or have not produced any of the elements of a coherent paper

Comments are closed.