Upcoming Internship Opportunities

The museum offers interns of different backgrounds incredible opportunities in a variety of fields. These opportunities may change based on the availability of projects in order to ensure meaningful education experiences for all interns. Check out the information below to learn more about upcoming internship opportunities available at the National Museum of American History!


We are currently accepting the following applications for the Spring 2019 internship cycle on a rolling basis:

Graphic Design Internship

Exhibition Design Internship

 

We are currently accepting the following applications for the Summer 2019 internship cycle, due March 1:

Office of Communications and Marketing/Public Affairs Internship

Development Internship

Archives Center Internship: Digital Assets

Special Events Internship

Program in Latino History and Civic Engagement Internship

Archives Center Internship


Graphic Design Internship

Do you have a desire to gain experience with graphic design for museum applications such as wayfinding, environmental graphics, and exhibition graphics?  The NMAH Graphic Design Internship will provide you with real-world experience in the application of graphic design within the museum environment. Develop graphic design skills, practice your design critique and presentation skills, work directly with professional exhibition designers, and expand your portfolio of design projects through museum exhibitions.

**Please note: as part of your SOLAA application to this position, please include provide either a link or a PDF to your portfolio!**

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to provide students with real-world experience in the graphic design in the museum context.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Understand Graphic Design for Environmental Graphics inside and outside of the museum building
  • Understand implementation of a museum-wide graphic identity
  • Understand graphic design for wayfinding and building signage
  • Understand the use of typography and graphic design for museum exhibitions
  • Prepare graphic design production packages

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Work with existing Graphic Identity Style Guide to produce museum wayfinding and building signage
  • Work with exhibitions project teams to develop exhibition graphics such as labels, environmental graphics and exhibition-specific graphic identities
  • Attend exhibition project meetings and present exhibition design concepts

Ideal Qualifications: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Experience with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
  • A desire to gain experience with visual and experiential storytelling through museum exhibitions

Audience: This internship is generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field and specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 3-4 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational instutition.

Financial Information: This internship does not provide a stipend.


Exhibition Design Internship

Do you have a desire to gain experience with visual and experiential storytelling through museum exhibitions? The NMAH Exhibition Design Internship will provide you with real-world experience in the development and design of object-based, interpretive exhibitions. Develop your 3-D and graphic design skills, practice your design critique and presentation skills, work directly with professional exhibition designers, and expand your portfolio of design projects through museum exhibitions.

**Please note: as part of your SOLAA application to this position, please include provide either a link or a PDF to your portfolio!**

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to provide student with real-world experience in the Exhibition Development and Design the museum context.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Understand the exhibition development and design process for interpretive, object-based exhibitions.
  • Use Vectorworks for exhibition concept design and detailing
  • Create and present verbal and visual exhibition design concept presentations
  • Prepare exhibition design production packages

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Use Vectorworks for Exhibition Design modeling and detailing
  • Use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign for exhibition graphic design
  • Participate in weekly creative critiques about exhibition design
  • Attend exhibition project meetings and present exhibition design concepts

Ideal Qualifications: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Experience with Vectorworks and other 3-D CAD software
  • Experience with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
  • A desire to gain experience with visual and experiential storytelling through museum exhibitions

Audience: This internship is generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field and specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 3-4 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational instutition.

Financial Information: This internship does not provide a stipend.


Office of Communications and Marketing/Public Affairs Internship

The National Museum of American History Office of Communications and Marketing ensures that museum maintains a positive relationship with the community and members of the press. Daily activities include responding to all incoming media queries; develops strategies for effective proactive information about museum activities; coordinates documentary film crews, approves outside media releases by agencies/donors, approves advertisements promoting exhibitions and public programs and handles any crisis issues. Among the events that communications and marketing stages are press previews, press conferences, exhibition dedication ceremonies, donation ceremonies (usually involving objects and sometimes celebrity donors) and press luncheons. Coming up we will be preparing for donations, exhibition openings, and doing a lot of filming at the museum. We are a small office with four full time employees and so we rely heavily on interns who generally have projects of their own to promote start to finish. For example, if a notable musician is willing to donate something to the museum, an intern might be asked to research and create a background on the musician and object being donated, speak with curators at the museum, work with the special events office on the donation ceremony schedule, and caption the pictures taken at the event. In addition, interns assist the office with daily operations: researching and responding to media and public inquiries, compiling media clips, researching and writing calendar submissions, media advisories and releases and some other things that come up. Our office relies on interns to assist with daily operations like: researching and responding to media and public queries, compiling media clips, writing media advisories and press releases, and researching and writing calendar submissions. Interns are given the opportunity to come up with ideas on how the Museum can continue to remain one of the most visited museums in the world. The office also facilitates all interviews with the director and curators and is responsible for coordinating and scheduling all media, documentary and commercial film crews. An internship in the Office of Communications and Marketing is not only a great opportunity for anyone with an interest in those areas, but also those interested in event planning, public affairs, and museum studies. During the internship you will learn how to write and cite according to AP stylebook, how to draft and create media advisories, press releases and event show flows, and how to effectively communicate with the public and media. Your writing will become concise as you raise awareness for museum exhibitions and events. Due to the nature of the work, interns will explore much of the museum as they research for media releases and advisories. Working in our office rewards interns with professional skills in a friendly environment that promotes creative ideas and fosters professional growth.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to propose creative ideas and contribute to the Office of Communications and Marketing. The intern will gain insight into the inner workings and aspects of the Office of Communications and Marketing in the National Museum of American History. When the internship is completed, the intern will have and understanding about the field of public relations and ideally be prepared for to seek a position in the communications field.   Interns will develop verbal, written, and professional skills and understand what makes compelling news.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will:

  • Gain experience working in an active communications and marketing office and learn how to promote the Smithsonian and its work to the public and media
  • Improve writing skills through a variety of communication mediums (press materials, marketing materials and web content)
  • Learn what makes a story news worthy and how to tailor stories to relevant news outlets

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Research and respond to media and public inquiries
  • Compile media clips
  • Draft and edit media advisories and press releases
  • Research and write calendar submissions
  • Attend special events
  • Draft statements
  • Oversee film and news crews

Ideal Qualifications: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Enthusiastic about communications and marketing with excellent research and writing skills
  • Professional demeanor, organizational and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and complete assigned tasks within identified timeframes

Audience: This internship is generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational instutition.

Financial Information: This internship does not provide a stipend.


Development Internship

The Development Office manages a robust philanthropy program that creates meaningful experiences for members and donors while raising funds to sustain core museum activities including exhibitions, education initiatives, public programs, conservation projects, capital projects, and more. The office is responsible for fundraising by identifying, securing, and stewarding financial support from individuals (trustees, major donors, and members) and institutions (foundations, government agencies, and corporations). The interns report to the Manager of Annual Giving, but will work closely with all development managers to learn different aspects of fundraising and development, while supporting the team in meeting its goals. Interns will learn about membership, major giving and personal philanthropy, assist with gift acknowledgements, special projects, and events, and help advance the process for individual and institutional donors and prospects.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to educate the intern on what it means to work in development for a major museum.  They will learn how we cultivate donors and raise money for various projects.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Prospect research techniques
  • Conduct a mail merge 
  • Cultivate donor stewardship

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Prospect identification, such as online research and creating in-depth donor profiles
  • Manage and process mailings for the Smithsonian Council for American History, a membership program for donors of $1,000 - $25,000, and the Director’s Fund for Annual Giving, a program for donor of $50-$500.
  • Assist with donor tours, donor meetings, membership/major gift events, Museum-wide events
  • Create and manage invitation and mailing lists for VIP events
  • Draft fundraising materials, such as proposals, blog posts, e-solicitations, or talking points for donor tours
  •  Assist with data processing and mailings

Ideal Qualifications: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Interest in development 
  • Arts or nonprofit background
  • Experience working in an office 

Audience: This internship is specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship is full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational instutition.

Financial Information: This internship does not provide a stipend.


Archives Center Internship: Digital Assets

The Digital Asset intern will help prepare the Archives Center’s digital images for upload to the Smithsonian Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) by creating or editing the images embedded metadata to comply with Archives Center standards. Intern will use Photoshop or Bridge, renaming some image files to current naming schema; creating or editing MARC records including image links for public display in SOVA (Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives) and creating digital objects and links in ArchivesSpace. Training provided. Attention to detail required.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to help prepare the Archives Center’s digital images for upload to the Smithsonian Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) and make assets available publicly.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Better understand metadata
  • Better understand digital curation
  • Better understand various collections management systems

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Work collaboratively and independently
  • Follow detailed instructions
  • Understand digital workflows

Ideal Qualifications: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Attention to detail
  • Interest in digital curation
  • Willingness to learn multiple collections management systems

Audience: This internship is specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns.

Timeline: This internship will take place in Summer 2019, ideally for 10 weeks. This internship can be full time or part time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational instutition.

Financial Information: This internship does not provide a stipend.


Special Events Internship

The Office of Special Events plans and coordinates over 100 events each year including: exhibition openings, press conferences, donation ceremonies, staff receptions, donor cultivation events, and corporate dinners and receptions. The office is characterized by a busy but proactive environment that strives to forward the goals of the Smithsonian Institution by connecting with the community and public at large. We offer an unparalleled opportunity for students/individuals interested in event planning and coordinating to delve into the museum environment and gain hands-on skills from a highly esteemed workplace. Our interns are given a great deal of responsibility and permitted the chance to develop their writing skills, interact with museum officials, work with caterers and vendors, and staff numerous special events. As an intern, you will be exposed to the nuances of protocol and frequently accompany staff members for on-site visits with potential donors and walk-throughs with clients and vendors.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to assist students in developing the skills necessary to plan and execute events.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Summarize the necessary steps to execute an event at NMAH
  • Produce documentation and memoranda for events
  • Develop problem solving and time management skills

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Assist in the coordination and execution of receptions, dinners, conferences, donation ceremonies, and other special events at the Museum
  • Manage the museum-wide special events and conference room calendar
  • Interact and communicate with museum staff, vendors, event attendees, and members of the public

Ideal Qualifications: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Junior, Senior, or Graduate Student
  • Communication skills, both oral and written
  • Availability to work events including nights and some weekends

Audience: This internship can both be generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field and specialized for individuals who already have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational instutition.

Financial Information: This internship does provide a $500 stipend to offset transportation costs.


Program in Latino History and Civic Engagement Internship

During this internship, interns will learn through participating in multiple projects about Latino history and civic engagement, maximizing the opportunity to acquire new skills and make a greater contribution. One project is the “Interactive Cart on Latino Immigration,” through which interns will facilitate conversations with the public about the objects in the carts, make connection to the visitors own family immigration experiences and facilitate learning about the rich diversity of immigrant communities. Another project is the Civic Engagement project, through which interns will assist in producing proposals to support naturalization ceremonies, citizenship seminars, and create new teaching resources for new citizens as well as plan and produce voter registration drives in the museum and compile voter registration resources. Interns will be under the supervision of Magdalena Mieri in the Office of Audience Engagement at the National Museum of American History. 

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to teach interns how to increase awareness of Latino history and improve citizenship participation.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will:

  • Learn how a museum operates, including its many functions.
  • Learn how to do research using museum collections
  • Further critical thinking skills

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Learn and facilitate the museum’s “Interactive Cart on Latino Immigration,” which involves interacting and connecting with the public
  • Produce proposals to support civic engagement
  • Behave professionally 
  • Communicate clearly and participate in meetings
  • Produce good work

Ideal Qualifications: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Bilingual skills English/Spanish
  • Pursuing or received a BA or BS in history, cultural anthropology, Spanish, English
  • Self-motivated

Audience: This internship is generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational instutition.

Financial Information: This internship does not provide a stipend.


Archives Center Internship

During this internship, the intern’s primary duty will be to assist Archives Center reference staff in varied aspects of reference service, including: answering public inquiries by telephone, e-mail, and in person, performing background research as needed; taking charge of the reference room during brief absences of the regular staff, assisting researchers as needed, and assisting staff in paging and re-shelving collection materials. Other duties as assigned may include scanning archival materials and assisting the AC staff with archival processing.  Training provided.  Attention to detail required.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to teach interns the skills required in varied aspects of reference service and to learn from Archives Center reference staff.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will:

  • Better understand how to analyze a reference inquiry
  • Better understand how to locate information using a variety of systems
  • Better interact with people and provide the excellent customer service

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Work collaboratively and independently
  • Follow detailed instructions
  • Be flexible 
  • Answer public inquiries by telephone, e-mail, and in person
  • Perform background research as needed
  • Take charge of the reference room during brief absences of the regular staff, assisting researchers as needed, and assisting staff in paging and re-shelving collection materials

Ideal Qualifications: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Attention to detail
  • Interest in working with researchers
  • Willingness to learn multiple collections management systems

Audience: This internship is generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time.

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational instutition.

Financial Information: This internship does not provide a stipend.


Didn’t find what you’re looking for? You can check out the General Application Pools at NMAH!

Additionally, if you’re interested in internship opportunities at other museums and research centers at the Smithsonian as well as more general Smithsonian internships, please visit the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships.