Upcoming Internship Opportunities

We will start recruiting for Summer 2021 internships in early December 2020. Thank you for your patience! Applications will be due Monday, March 1st at 2 PM EST, including all application materials and reference letters. Only complete and submitted applications will be reviewed. Interns should expect to hear back about their selection status within four-six weeks of the application deadline.

**Please note: Depending on the status of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Summer 2021 internship may be virtual, in-person, or hybrid (part in-person, part virtual); details are included in the individual postings for each internship opportunity. Any in-person or hybrid experience may be converted to virtual or postponed to ensure the safety and health of our staff and interns.**

For any other questions, please check out our NMAH Internship FAQ or OFI's FAQ. Thanks for your interest in NMAH internships!


The museum offers incredible internship experiences in a variety of fields. These opportunities may change each internship season based on the availability of projects in order to ensure meaningful education experiences for all interns.
Unless otherwise stated in a specific internship posting, community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply. We are currently not recruiting for high school interns.

Examples of Spring 2021 Internships:

Communications, Marketing, & Public Affairs Internship

Museum Affiliations and National Outreach Internship

Special Events Internship

Undocumented Organizing Collecting Initiative - Oral History Internship

 

Didn't find the internship you wanted? You can still submit an application through our General Application Pools for NMAH internships! Apply through our:

Office of Curatorial Affairs 

Office of Audiences Engagement 

Office of Building Renovation and Exhibition Services

Office of Management and Museum Services

 

Questions about applying? Check out the How to Apply section of our NMAH internship website!


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.

Status: Virtual 

Anticipated 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 / Prerequisites: 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. Community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

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 institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity does not guarantee a stipend. However, upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for a stipend based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Museum Affiliations and National Outreach Internship

The Department of Affiliations manages the museum’s participation in the Smithsonian's Affiliations Program. Through this program, the Smithsonian develops long-term relationships with museums large and small across the country, and expands access to the museum’s collections, research, interpretation, and programs.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to introduce people interested in museums to outreach initiatives at a national level.

Status: Virtual

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

  • Learn about impact studies and evaluation practices
  • Coordinate and produce programs in a virtual space in partnership with and in support of a national outreach program
  • Understand and receive a Smithsonian (SI) certificate in human research and the IRB process
  • Practice effective communication and leadership strategies

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

  • Attend multiple meetings with a variety of internal and external stakeholders, actively participating and taking notes for additional follow-up
  • Collaborate with a variety of SI staff to learn more about the museum field, the field of American history, and what outreach looks like at a national museum
  • Research best practices of museum evaluation through selected readings and discussions with internal experts
  • Participate in training regarding human research and the IRB process
  • Support virtual programs through coordinating schedules, assisting with webinar facilitation, and compiling feedback from participants

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:

  • Communication skills, both oral and written
  • Interest in museums and/or American history
  • Schedule availability for some nights and weekends, at least twice a month
  • Willingness to learn a variety of conferencing technology and evaluation reporting systems

Audience: This internship is generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns. Community college, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship will take place in Spring 2021. This internship will be part time (16-24 hours per week).

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 institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity does not guarantee a stipend. However, upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for a stipend based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


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. Additionally, the museum is able to host social events including weddings, mitzvahs, birthdays, etc. 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.

Status: Virtual, in-person, or hybrid, depending on the intern's preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic 

Anticipated 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 / Prerequisites: 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. Undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

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 institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity does not guarantee a stipend. However, upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for a stipend based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


Undocumented Organizing Collecting Initiative - Oral History Internship

Undocumented Organizing Collecting Initiative, a three-year project tracing the emergence of undocumented youth activism over the past twenty years by recording, analyzing, and interpreting political strategies via the collection of oral histories and objects. The Project engages in community-based collecting efforts in six key geographical locations to capture the progression of this multifaceted social and political movement led by undocumented people in the United States, many of whom remain undocumented today. The project is leading new practices at NMAH by  centering community voices and collaborating with participants.  Because of undocumented American precarious status, the project works to ensure that the participants have control over their oral history at every stage of the process. The intern’s main tasks will fall under two categories: indexing completed oral histories and composing oral history questions for each new participant.

Composing questions:  Oral histories are quite personal. To be mindful of each participant and to provide them control over the process, we engage in a series of conversations with them before recording.  The intern will work with the oral historian and the participant to draft the interview questions and propose the overall direction of the recording. A combination of analyzing themes and listening to pre-recording meetings will inform the questions asked during an oral history and help shape the project as well.

In order to compile, analyze, and create an accessible archive for both public and researchers, oral histories are transcribed and an indexed. Indexing incorporates an abstract, notable quotes, time stamps, and summarization of the recordings. Intern will listen to the recordings already at hand (projected 10 at the start of internship), index, and conclude findings to project team.

Goal: Overall, this internship serves as an introduction into oral history documentation and object processing for the undocumented organizing collecting initiative at NMAH.

Status: Virtual 

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

  • Understand the intentional steps of creating accessible material out of an oral history recording
  • Develop communication skills to present summarization and important key takeaways of a raw oral history recording
  • Broaden critical thinking skills by absorbing data, seeing themes and creating key questions about the participant’s life.
  • Meaningfully participate in a team-based work environment

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

  • Work with project’s oral historian on indexing’s best practices
  • Assist the project’s oral historian and participant with development of recording key questions
  • Correspond and collaborate with project team
  • Research effective digital presentations of oral histories

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Familiarity and interest in oral history process
  • Interest in project’s content (any historical and contemporary political activism, youth led, and immigration).
  • Demonstrated high interest in storytelling centered on historically harmed communities.
  • Excellent skills research and presenting findings in a cohesive manner.
  • Effective communicator in speaking and writing. 
  • Ability to work in a team setting-both in tight deadlines and phased projects.

Audience: This internship is intended to be generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1 intern. Community college students, undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply. This internship's ideal audience is for people who 

  • Demonstrate high interest in collecting initiative's content, especially with youth activism, immigration, and/ or social movements
  • Demonstrate previous experience or interest in working with oral histories or any audio/visual recorded material
  • Demonstrate skills in writing comprehensive abstracts and summarizations of large raw data

Timeline: This internship will take place Spring 2021 for 10-12 weeks. This internship will be part time (approximately 20 hours a week) with a flexible schedule depending on the intern's and mentor's needs. 

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 institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This opportunity provides a guaranteed stipend of $3,000 for a 20 hours per week internship schedule. Additionally, upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for a stipend based on financial need; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.


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

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