Seeking Fieldwork and Internship Opportunities for OHMA Students

Amy Starecheski Discussion

Dear colleagues, 

I am writing to let you know about the opportunities available this year to work with Columbia's Oral History MA Program students and find out how and if you are interested in participating. Thank you to those of you who have participated in our fieldwork partners program in the past, and welcome to those of you who are new to working with OHMA. Please feel free to share this email with others who may be interested. This year there will be two different ways to work with our students.


First, as in previous years, we are seeking organizations or projects with which students can partner to conduct three interviews as part of their fall fieldwork course. These fieldwork partners will be required to work with the student to create a brief project design, ensuring that their work will both serve the needs of their partner and fulfill their requirements for the course.The main expectation of partners is that they will connect students with narrators so that they can do three sessions of interviews in October and November, 2014. Students and fieldwork partners work together to negotiate any other deliverables, such as indexes or edited excerpts.


Second, starting this year OHMA students will also be able to undertake internships for credit. They may be involved in any phase of the oral history process, from designing a project to conducting interviews, processing an archive, or creating a public presentation using oral histories. Students will be expected to negotiate a work agreement with their sponsoring organization or project in advance, complete a certain number of hours of work (100-200, depending on how many credits they want), and reflect on their experience. Internships can be for fall 2014, spring 2015, or summer 2015, and can even stretch over more than one semester. Especially in the summer, internships do not need to be based in NYC. Sponsoring organizations or projects will be expected to create a work plan, supervise, train, and mentor the interning student, and evaluate their work. Internships may be paid or unpaid, although it is preferable if students can be compensated. 


Any given project or organization may elect to participate in one or both of these programs. I will be collecting a list of potential fieldwork partners and of potential internship sponsors over the summer, which I will share with interested students. Please be aware that there is a chance that you may be willing to host a student but I will not be able to place a student with you. 


If you are interested in being a fieldwork partner, please fill out this survey by August 1.


If you are interested in hosting an intern, please fill out this survey by August 1.


I will follow up in early August with those of you who are interested in working with our students. I apologize for the long email, and am happy to answer any questions you have in the meantime!

With warm regards,

Amy Starecheski
Associate Director
Columbia Oral History MA Program