- Please read about how to submit your application on our website. We will not review applications submitted via Handshake; we will only review applications submitted via the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment Database.
- Depending on the status of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this Spring 2021 internship may be virtual, in-person, or hybrid (part in-person, part virtual); if you have a preference for one or the other, please include that in your learning goals essay for your application.
- Any in-person or hybrid experience may be converted to virtual or postponed to ensure the safety and health of our staff and interns. The internship application deadline for Spring 2021 will be Monday, October 26th at 2 PM EST.
- All accepted interns will have the option to apply for an internship stipend based on disclosed financial need after their selection.
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.
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.
If you have any questions about the internship, please contact Caroline Fiertz, Interns & Fellows Program Manager at the National Museum of American History, at NMAHintern@si.edu or 202-633-3556.