SHA Does All Kinds of Amazing Things
SHA does all kinds of amazing things – exposes you to the best thinkers in the field, gives you practical knowledge you can instantly use, and creates an incredible professional network that you can call on for just about anything. All those things are important, but none of them are why SHA was a pivotal event in my life.
In 2009, SHA gave me the tools to be intentional about my role in the public history field. When I applied I had been working as a curator for 10 years. I loved hands-on work with collections and exhibits, but as I gained experience I found myself gradually drifting toward administration. In non-profits too often people move into administrative roles without self reflection. We move from doing things to managing things without really thinking about whether that’s the right fit. This negatively impacts both individuals and organizations. Reluctant managers often cannot let go of their previous jobs, or they become disillusioned and uninspired because administration doesn’t feed their souls.
SHA allowed me the time to reflect on why I got into the field and think hard about what I wanted to do. I left after three weeks convinced that I was ready to move into administration, and that I was going to work hard to be the best manager I could possibly be. Other professional development programs supply you with information, but SHA is the only one I know of that reconnects you with your passions and helps you live a more intentional life.